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(Crossposted from The Field.)

When it comes to Nate Silver's analysis of the numbers of politics, if the gods ever made a more astute human they must have done it in an age when that person had far less data available at his fingertips. I'm usually reduced to saying "me too" when Silver speaks, but today I think he's offered a counsel that is more human than it is divinely providenced...

Nate finds "lessons for Obama" in "declining approval ratings" and notes: "Whereas Obama had been averaging approval ratings of about 70 percent in the immediate aftermath of his inauguration, his approval ratings have since declined by approximately 6 points, with his disapproval scores increasing by about the same margin."

Kos, citing the Research 2000 tracking poll he commissions, notes that "everybody lost" some popularity this week, and not just the President: the House, the Senate, their Democrats, their Republicans, and the leaders of both chambers became less popular, too.

Obama lost a little bit more because, in my view, last week's 75 percent favorable to 22 percent negative rating was artificially high. (Even now at 69 to 26, the President enjoys a staggering level of popularity at +43 percent, but I think we have to be realistic and expect it will not remain as high as time goes on, and should not freak out or try to find too much evidence when it does other than the simple fact that "governing is ugly.")

DKos front-pager DemFromCT has the more plausible analysis. "you could argue there's no drop at all, just the end of an inaugural bounce."

There it is. The inaugural bounce was to be expected. Just as Silver, last August, forecasted that presidential candidate John McCain would get an bounce in poll numbers from the Republican National Convention - 538 even tracked convention bounces from prior years to predict how high it could go and how many days it would likely last, an analysis that proved prescient - unless and until Nate or somebody can offer up a differing analysis of past "inaugural bounces" for Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, I don't think much of anything can be read into this week's slight descent in Obama's faves-to-negs.

Also helpful would be to track the weeks and months of presidential popularity after previous inaugurations in the age of polling - perhaps laying them over each other on a chart graph to get a reasonable sense of where Obama's fave-to-neg ratings will likely go (as they will certainly narrow over time) - so that observers can have reasonable expectations and won't "over analyze" the natural forces of gravity on public opinion by assigning the blame self-servingly to specific events.

Otherwise, we're in for a spring season of chirping by the "Obama must do what I say" commentators repeating, like scratched LPs on a turntable, that his popularity came down to earth because he didn't do what they recommended. Those "I told you so" prounouncements will come identically from the National Review, Rush Limbaugh and right-wing commentators as it will from the panic room nostalgists in the Netroots: It will be like a Mad Libs quiz where each will fill in different nouns but will use the same verbs, i.e.: "Obama's favorability fell because he did _______________ and because he did not do __________________." In many cases the blanks filled in will make exact opposite points. Reality-based observers will know that neither will be correct.

Nate offers three points of analysis, the first two that I generally concur with: that Congressional Republicans are desperate with "nothing to lose" and therefore should be dealt with much like an animal control team would handle a rabid raccoon (thick gloves and long sticks!), and also that Obama shouldn't leave the heavy lifting to unpopular Congressional Democrats.

I don't concur with his third point, though: that "bipartisanship" somehow hasn't worked for Obama and his agenda.

I'm not sure that Silver fully believes his third counsel because he then sharpens the pencil and finds a different point: "the public seems to be seeking strong leadership from Obama; they don't want him to be deferential to either Congressional Democrats or Congressional Republicans." I agree with that, but point out that it has nothing to do with partisanship vs. bipartisanship. More to the pencil point, it recommends a bipartisan "tough love" strategy to deal with both parties in Congress. And that requires bipartisan carrots as well as bipartisan sticks.

The tough love strategy won't solve anything for those nostalgic for the political dysfunctions of the last 16 years, or who seek symbolic justice in Obama doing to Republicans what Bush did to Democrats (ignoring that what Bush did to Democrats was to inadvertently position them for the 2006 and 2008 electoral turnabouts in which they took back all three houses: House, Senate and White, and a shot at a possible generation of dominance).

Bipartisanship isn't just unicorns and kisses. It can be flowers, yes... but it can also be whips and chains: the point is to apply the dominatrix tools in measured parity to Congressional Republicans and to Congressional Democrats. If so, the beatings would still be doled out on a bipartisan basis.

I think when many people argue against "bipartisanship" what they're really saying is they want more blood on the floor. Well, they're going to get that, but they may see it likewise apply to Democrats at the US Capitol, whose dysfunctions and power trips are legion and, if the ship of State were left only in their hands, they'd make a big ol' mess of things, too.

Had Obama come out swinging at Republicans - as some have recommended - from Day One, his favorable-to-negative numbers would have still sagged at least as much, likely more so, as the inaugural bounce subsided. There would have been a greater chance that he would not have been able to bring three Republican senators - Specter, Snowe and Collins - along on the Stimulus, which is absolutely necessary to make the sixty vote cloture threshold.

More consequentially for the long run, he would have lost the moral authority to do what the next few days will bring: the jump-start of Organizing for America (300 of 3,200 house meetings nationwide begin today), a Monday trip to "fire up" the crowds in Indiana, a Tuesday visit to make public opinion "ready to go" in Florida (and a national media narrative set through both events), all leading up to Tuesday's Senate vote on the Stimulus Bill and the subsequent House-Senate conference committee machinations. What the Obama camp knows - it proved this time and time again in 2008 - is that to exercise maximum force at the moment of decision means taking care to not peak too soon.

So if you attend a house meeting today or in the days to come, please do report back, in the comments section of The Field, and share with us what you saw, heard and learned. Organizing for America is apparently confident in the attendance (many of the meetings listed on its website are already filled to capacity via reservations and can't shoehorn more organizers in), so confident that it's now made public the 13-minute video that will be watched as part of those house meetings, narrated by DNC chair Tim Kaine answering the base's questions about the Stimulus Bill:

What we'll witness in the next four days is the first 2009 roll out of the organizational muscle. And if anybody thinks that the timing of this was not plotted weeks ago, they haven't learned much from the experience of 2008. I'm looking forward to looking at, learning and studying how it is done all over again, this time in the context of how grassroots organizing can be applied in an epoch of governance.

Originally posted to The Field on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:14 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  For carrots and sticks (178+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canso, Jay, Phoenix Woman, askew, Christin, whataboutbob, greenbird, karlpk, kpardue, John Campanelli, eeff, frisco, FyodorFish, MarkInSanFran, louisville lisa, Doctor Who, bara, concernedamerican, bronte17, missLotus, understandinglife, kkbmom, ZanderOC, peraspera, thingamabob, dmsilev, dksbook, Brit, hhex65, elmo, grannyhelen, Catte Nappe, Sophie Amrain, tomjones, snowbird42, Bluesee, Simian, radarlady, Elise, JanetT in MD, mjd in florida, Buffalo Girl, LABobsterofAnaheim, peteri2, brenda, Steve Singiser, FindingMyVoice, JanL, Land of Enchantment, golden star, begone, reddbierd, Jennifer Clare, BachFan, Nightprowlkitty, plum, dopper0189, buhdydharma, JVolvo, bleeding heart, ER Doc, soccergrandmom, doinaheckuvanutjob, MBNYC, Turbonerd, rage, WarrenS, henna218, Nulwee, DBunn, BeninSC, dotsright, bfbenn, cyncynical, jnhobbs, trueblueliberal, Empower Ink, VA Breeze, kafkananda, rogerdaddy, MikePhoenix, ScottyUrb, canoeist, elwior, CDH in Brooklyn, Akonitum, Its any one guess, mboehm, royce, pamelabrown, NMLib, evora, smartdemmg, TheLoneliestMonk, SottoVoce, noddem, luckylizard, a night owl, shortgirl, fayea, maggiejean, cameoanne, pileta, janetj, cybrestrike, Neon Vincent, NM Ward Chair, DemocraticOz, RandomActsOfReason, velvet blasphemy, SciVo, kat68, desertlover, Daily Activist, sillycilla, virginwoolf, zbbrox, BDsTrinity, NWTerriD, ZilV, Leslie in KY, sanglug, hyper, allep10, jackrabbitears, The BBQ Chicken Madness, XNeeOhCon, amnesiaproletariat, PalGirl2008, Muzikal203, sherijr, Dragon5616, chrisblask, carmenjones, TenthMuse, Clyde the Cat, Julia C, BrighidG, political junquie, loper2008, jamtown, TFinSF, Pebbles, robertacker13, serendipityisabitch, My mom is my hero, Firecrawler09, karl pearson, TheWesternSun, on board 47, tennisjump, chrome327, taiping1, tammanycall, Anne933, aggie98, sharonsz, pateTX, Micheline, Caerus, abrauer, berrieh, Actbriniel, VitaminD, Sassinator, I love OCD, Dretutz, WallOfInsanity, Olon, kirbybruno, hooktool, Amayi, island in alabama, faithin08, princesspat, Muskegon Critic, sjr1, zapus

    *

    •  I believe the Prez's efforts at bipartisanship (58+ / 0-)

      are important and should continue. I also think it's important for him to hit back just as he did in Williamsburg when those efforts are rebuffed. Otherwise, he will come across as a patsy. So yes, carrots and sticks.

      Unfortunately, the current stimulus bill is easy to demagogue as "liberal" spending. Yes, it's spending, but that's what economists say we need. The President has said that he will follow this bill with a push for fiscal responsibility. I would bet he gets plenty of Republican support for those efforts (And if he doesn't, than you know these are Kamikaze Republicans.)

      I trust President Obama has a strategy over the long haul that will help him bring the American people with him. If he carries out his efforts to create jobs and yet govern with fiscal responsibility and transparency, any short term hits he may take will seem like minor blips.

      The Obama Experiment: thrilling, sickening, scary...I can't wait to see how it turns out

      by John Campanelli on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:41:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And for letting them hoist themselves (24+ / 0-)

      by their own petards.  I agree with you that Obama is demonstrating his very impressive political gifts of generosity, moral authority and toughness.  

      In my view, when the president makes a good faith effort to engage in constructive dialogue, and the GOP responds by going into a collective snit, they are the losers.  Thankfully, the president prevailed, with the result that the American people don't have to suffer along with the foolish and selfish Republicans.

      •  Can the people who would've benefited . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        William Domingo, Edgewater

        . . . from the dollars cut from the bill feed and house themselves with President Obama's "very impressive political gifts of generosity, moral authority and toughness?"

        'cause if they can't, then who really gives a fuck?

        Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

        by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:57:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why are you so hostile? (0+ / 0-)

          Is it better if Dems and Progressives adopt the Karl Rove playbook?  This is not the only legislation that will pass in the next 4 years.  And it's not finished.  And there are a lot of people out here who can't house themselves, and need help feeding themselves who are grateful to have a President who isn't a screaming asshole.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.  I'd rather be us than them.

          •  Two things. (0+ / 0-)

            First, the "Karl Rove playbook" thing is totally bullshit framing. One can be partisan and resolute without lying, cheating, and stealing. Thanks for limbaughing the Left.

            Second, people are losing their homes, their jobs, and their retirements, or put another way, their present and their future. I couldn't give a wet fart if President Obama is the second coming of Jesus Christ if he can't deliver meaningful relief soon. We're months past the time for "constructive dialogue" with Republicans - now we should be focusing on passing the best legislation we can, and President Obama's "moral authority" can go fuck itself in a closet somewhere.

            Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

            by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:34:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Strange use of terms (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brit, shortgirl, ohmyheck, I love OCD

              When you say "thanks for limbaughing the Left" it implies that you somehow speak for the Left or that the Left shares your views. Guess what? Not everybody does (and you can read from a great many of those of us that don't right here.) Both tendencies exist on the Left. Yours is shrinking, not growing. Get used to it.

              •  "Partisan" =/= "Karl Rove." (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Edgewater

                Do you really disagree with that thesis? I mean, really, do you?

                Or is anyone who doesn't occupy the "mushy middle" Rovian by definition?

                And yes, I'm well aware that while Democrats are many, liberals are few. That's to the enduring detriment of the Democratic Party and the American people.

                Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

                by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:30:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Bipartisanship is not ending. (7+ / 0-)

      It is beginning.

      "Obama is just too smart to be stupid." --NYmind

      by Dragon5616 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:20:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  whips and chains (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Field

      are more fun, though perhaps not as applied to this particular set of humans....

    •  "Tough" and "Weak" Are Not the Issue (8+ / 0-)
      Given the current discipline and policy positions of the GOP, so-called bipartisanship (really bargaining with yourself in the vain hope of attracting Republican votes beyond the two that are needed in the Senate) is stupid, ineffective, and self-defeating.

      That's what's wrong with it.

      Nobody knows what kind of trouble we're in / Nobody seems to think it all might happen again

      by GreenSooner on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:14:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

        This is in fact a rubbish, Broderish diary. People are upset not because Obama isn't being a prick to Republicans like Bush was to Democrats, nor do people in particular care about Obama's popularity. They are upset because the stimulus bill is far worse than it could have been, and the main reason for that is the damn "bi-partisan outreach" that is lauded in this diary. By watering down the effectiveness of the stimulus bill Obama is risking a poor showing for his efforts, and will risk defeat in four years on this basis, and flushing the country down the drain. It has fuck all to do with popularity or "politics". It has to do with what's best for America.

        Rubbish.

        •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          keikekaze, Edgewater

          To both Klaus and GreenSooner.

          Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

          by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:03:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  indeed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          keikekaze, Edgewater

          sad to see this kind of silly, puerile "analysis" on the rec list

          It was only a couple of flipper babies!

          by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:13:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Al has a very dedicated following (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit, Edgewater

            from his other blog.

            •  I don't have followers (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brit

              There just happen to be more and more of us who agree on these points.

              We should never, ever make the mistake of presuming that people who agree with us on one thing will therefore agree with us on everything. I know I don't. Among autonomous and independent people, alliances shift on different issues.

              I can tell you see it differently, but maybe over time you'll come to see it differently. I think of former DKos commenter Dansac, who once saw it your way but over time received his Chicken Little inoculations and now is much more effective and analytically sharp. So there's hope for you yet, even if it's not visible!

            •  I had noticed that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink

              And if you want to post on his blog your post has to be approved first.

              Narco News has recently opened its comments section for submissions to moderated comments (that’s this box, here) by everybody else. More than 95 percent of all submitted comments are typically approved, because they are on-topic, coherent, don’t spread false claims or rumors, don’t gratuitously insult other commenters, and don’t engage in commerce, spam or otherwise hijack the thread. Narco News reserves the right to reject any comment for any reason, so, especially if you choose to comment anonymously, the burden is on you to make your comment interesting and relevant. That said, as you can see, hundreds of comments are approved each week here. Good luck in your comment submission!

              I guess he saves the gratuitous insults to other commenters and hijacking of threads for us here at DKos.  He reserves the right to ban anything he doesn't consider interesting or relevant.  So much for free speech.

              "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

              by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:24:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Facts are sticky things (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit

                There are 444 co-publishers at Narco News that comment freely without moderation. Each of us uses our real names (just as mine is readily disclosed here on my DKos user page) and so none are hiding behind masks. You'd be amazed how that makes for a very interesting and constructive conversation. Each has also invested labor or a donation into the project: it's a troll-free zone. If you view the conversation about this same crosspost over there, you'll see a marked difference in tone and a conversation that is different, but also interesting, than the one over here. That I crosspost here means that I value both kinds of discussion.

                I don't begrudge others for doing it differently. I respect the autonomy of every blog and project. But that's what works for us. If you don't like it, start your own blog and show us all how to do it better.

                And nor do I ever hijack threads here at DKos. If I have nothing to say directly on the topic, I just don't comment. Some folks might feel that a critical comment on topic is a "hijack" but it's not. Hijacking is more akin to going on a blog about, say, partisanship v. bipartisanship, and pouting about what the diarist said somewhere else because your peewings are hurt from a past exchange. Oh, wait...

                •  I don't need to start my own blog (0+ / 0-)

                  to post somewhere where my posts don't have to be approved by you before actually being read by others.  I can post here at DKos.

                  As I said a little further down in this thread your posts to those who disagree with you or question you illustrate the points I and others have made quite adequately.  I feel no need to belabor the point.  

                  "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                  by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 08:41:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  So write your own diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit

            ...raise it up the flagpole and maybe it will find common ground with the views of others. Maybe you'll convince folks otherwise. But you'll have to be a little more coherent, me thinks, than in your comments here.

            •  why don't you be more (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink, Edgewater

              coherent, and write something that isn't a worshipful diatribe in which anyone who questions Obama is a know-nothing who can't see the future like you can.

              sorry, but your analysis is silly, and its funny that you aren't trumpeting that call for John McCain to be our VP as part of your great wisdom here. come on, tell the people! I'm sure everyone would be very interested!

              It was only a couple of flipper babies!

              by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:17:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  To be fair - he also does vitriolic diatribe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                itsbenj, slinkerwink

                Of course it doesn't come across as coherent but that's a minor detail when there are seriously damaging people to be labeled Chicken Little posting here.

                "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:30:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do you know where you are? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brit

                  I'd say that around the Big Orange here, I'm hardly the leader of the vitriol lobby. I'd also say that you do your own form of "vitriolic diatribe" - the only difference is that I'm not the hypocrite complaining about it.

                  •  You do make it tempting to descend to your level (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    slinkerwink

                    I'll give you that.  But not today.  

                    Instead I'll just say this:

                    I think you mistake my post.  I wasn't complaining about your behavior, I was laughing at you.

                    "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                    by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:00:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  It's certainly not something I'm hiding (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit

                But I'm not sure what more I could say than what I've said already here about it. The matter is five years old after all.

                But that John Edwards as VP? That sure worked. And you can't say with certainty that had Kerry reached across the aisle that way at that moment in history that we wouldn't have been spared the latter four years of Bush. So you haven't exactly got a "gotcha moment" here since, A. I don't deny anything or run from anything I've ever said and B. A few cyber-stalkers - who have made these same points over and over again ad nauseum - certainly haven't caused my views to be shunned because folks might agree or disagree with something I believed in the context of 2004. If you think repeating it will change that, be my guest. You'll look as silly as Deb does.

          •  It is. n/t (0+ / 0-)

            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

            by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:25:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  genius (10+ / 0-)

      we want a bill that can work. Moderates gutted it.  Ten thousand teachers here in California will be out of work because of slashed state aid.  Rahm was key to this crap compromise.  I could give a crap about polls and process.  I care about the 1.2 million jobs that were cut out of the Senate bill.

      D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

      by dday on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:55:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree about bipartisanship. (5+ / 0-)

      It wasn't the fact that Bush ignored Democrats that "position[ed] Democrats for the 2006 and 2008 electoral turnabouts in which they took back all three houses."  That wasn't Bush; it was Howard Dean and the 50-state strategy that accomplished that--combined with Obama's extraordinary ground organization (plus the crashed economy) in 2008.  It was also the fact that Bush wasn't doing anything that the public really wanted done, while Democrats were at least promising things that were (and are) popular.

      The shoe is NOT on the other foot now.  Democrats are still seeking to do the public's business, things that the public actually wants, while Republicans are still obstructing them.  Democrats need to continue doing the public's business, and to ignore Republican whimpering, whining, stalling and obstructionism. There is no need for the phony "compromise" and "bipartisanship" that in fact give away the store.  We've just had that point freshly demonstrated, again, when the Obama administration's attempt at compromising on the economic stimulus package failed to gain even one Republican vote.

      It is time to ignore the Republicans, if that's what it takes to get anything done.  Do without them, if necessary.  Let them marginalize themselves for the rest of time, if that's what they want to do.  We can safely ignore Republicans, because they have no Howard Dean, they have no 50-state strategy, they have no Barack Obama, and most of all, because they're wrong, and the public knows it.

      "If elections really changed anything, they would be outlawed."--Emma Goldman

      by keikekaze on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:33:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who said this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillycilla

        No, REALLY READ it.( Slinkerwink, Edgewater, Orange Co.)

        "I value the constructive criticism and the healthy debate that's taking place around this package, because that's the essence, the foundation of American democracy.  That's how the founders set it up.  They set it up to make big change hard.  It wasn't supposed to be easy.  That's part of the reason why we've got such a stable government, is because no one party, no one individual can simply dictate the terms of the debate.  I don't think any of us have cornered the market on wisdom, or that do I believe that good ideas are the province of any party."

        Like, um, President Obama.  Last night.  Williamsburg.

        You're wrong for thinking I'm wrong, so that makes you wrong twice.

        by ohmyheck on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:09:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is not complicated, Al (9+ / 0-)

      Few are upset when Obama makes "bipartisanship" a tool for getting legislation passed.  Many are upset when he makes "bipartisanship" a goal in and of itself, because it invites the public to conclude that Obama did fail when Republicans obstruct him and refuse to cooperate.  He should not convince himself that bipartisanship is the point of governing.  For me, when he picked Gregg, he seemed to be veering that way.

      •  That's a fair enough point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brit, Seneca Doane, vc2

        Regarding Judd Gregg, you might have noticed that I urged the then president-elect in multiple diaries not to choose Senator Clinton as Secretary of State. And he went and did it. And now I'm pleasantly surprised to see Secretary Clinton advocating Obama positions that she opposed in the primaries. If Gregg does the same, I don't think you or I will be complaining. So we'll see.

        •  Indeed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mentaldebris, Brit, The Field

          If Gregg does the same, I will be too busy giggling uncontrollably to complain.

        •  one reason i think he chose Greg (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          canso, Seneca Doane

          was not just bc he likes bipartisanship but the very reason some here accepted the choice - "commerce is a token appointment, its a department that isnt important".  You notice he DID move the census out of it, for good reason, that would be hard for dems to handle or Greg for that matter without looking like he was sabotaging dems.

          Anyway, Greg has spoken out against commerce as a department that is ineffective and therefore just a moneypit.  The first half many agree with.

          Well who better to have good ideas to re invigorate a half dead department that should in reality be far more important than it is given todays reality?  I firmly believe that Obama offered and Greg accepted because they have decided to make Commerce relevant again, and both feel they can work together on it understanding that Obama is the boss.

          It is not a bad idea if what i believe is true.  In fact its far better than appointing a regular person -either party favor/payback or someone who would do little and change nothing, keeping it unimportant. That Greg is a republican is a little bonus for bipartisanship but i think Obama would have appointed him if he was a democrat and had held the same views on it while having good ideas to change it.

          Powell on palin: I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president.

          by vc2 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:35:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  agreed. (6+ / 0-)

    Um, me too!

  •  People love Obama. (33+ / 0-)

    But more importantly, they trust him. That's what polls are usually too blunt to measure.

    The future is this moment, and not someplace out there.

    by MBNYC on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:29:14 AM PST

    •  Well, also people aren't dumb enough to (27+ / 0-)

      forget that Obama isn't the one that got us into these messes.

      You know, some people are like slinkies, they're good for nothin'! But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

      by Muzikal203 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:48:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  trust me, they can be that dumb. (13+ / 0-)

        After all, it was Bush the first that got America into an economic mess when Clinton was elected into office. The Republicans opposed Clinton's stimulus bill, and was able to bamboozle the public into voting for them and ended up retaking both houses of Congress.

      •  Wanna bet? (9+ / 0-)

        The sad fact is repubs are far better and more effective at media and message manipulation than the Democrats will ever be.  The electorate has a short memory and repubs know it..

        Even after being told that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 by the same administration that continually LIED about it, as late as 2007 41% of a polled group thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for helping, financing or planning the 9/11 attacks and a majority couldn't identify Saudi Arabia as being the origin of the hijackers.  

        Repetition works and the Democrats have yet to find a way to effectively fight back against these types of pernicious lies and propaganda pushed by the repubs with a willing media. Counting on the electorate to remember who was responsible for the mess years two-three years from now with the repubs constantly taking to the airwaves and pointing fingers at Obama while the media continues their repub stenography, coupled with little or no effective Democratic pushback, is expecting an awful lot.

        Perhaps the Democrats will wise up and start placing the blame on Bush and the repubs publicly every time they get the opportunity, but counting on that and the public to place the blame where it belongs with the passage of time? No way.  Blame the Democrats is a repub and media default position. And the most of the electorate buys into it every time.

        Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist.-George Carlin

        by mentaldebris on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:12:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is exactly why it is so important to (5+ / 0-)

          fund education.  The Repubs have gutted it intentionally because it is to their advantage to produce a crop of simple thinking voters who get convinced by slogans ("Drill, baby, drill") rather than critically analyzing complex issues.

          One of my ideas for the house party concept is to get people to bring their teenagers to them so that they get some exposure to intelligent political discussions before they become voters.

          I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

          by fayea on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:38:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  agreed, but that's a long-term (0+ / 0-)

            fix.

            If things don't get fixed in America before Obama leaves office, there is no long-term for America, just a future with a once-great nation whose wealthy exploited it until it became a Third World failed state and where parents think the best thing they can do for their kids is to get them out of America to a nation with a functioning economy.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:56:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's the point of DailyKos. (3+ / 0-)

          Because the media is bought and sold by the Republican party...Kos created this site to sidestep that entire machine.

          I will admit...Dems in Congress (and the White House) should get better navigating the media though.  They need to understand that it's slanted against them.  At least Obama is comfortable dismissing Fox News as an Anti-Democratic outlet and is willing to toss in pot-shots at them every once and a while.

        •  media manipulation (4+ / 0-)

          The sad fact is repubs are far better and more effective at media and message manipulation than the Democrats will ever be.

          It's not so much that Repubs are better at media manipulation that it is that they have the media on their side. In other words, the Repubs aren't fooling the media into doing something they don't want to do, the media wants to lie for them and against us.

          Bush Jr's Iraq farewell tour. Nobody could have predicted shoes being used as a missile.

          by William Domingo on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:11:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chicken or the egg? (0+ / 0-)

            The media have been so scared of the liberal media (repub manipulation at its finest) moniker they went overboard the other way.  Some like ABC and now NPR are corrupted with a repub bias beyond reason. I've found in the past local TV news appears to be a more unbiased source than national, probably because of they get too much attention and complaints they have more license hassles than the networks.

            I won't comment on the cable crap because I don't consider bloviating pundits to be actual news. But I don't buy that it's all media bias,  I think there's a mixture of repub manipulation which begets media bias along with actual from the top bias.  Democrats have also proven to be rather inept at staying on message and controlling the narrative.  Clinton proved it could be done and her team became notorious for jumping all over the media when they smelled bias during the primary.  IOW, it can be combated. You just have to be willing to do so.

            Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist.-George Carlin

            by mentaldebris on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:32:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But I don't buy that it's all media bias (0+ / 0-)

              Then you think that in some cases members of the media are "dupes" of the GOP?

              Bush Jr's Iraq farewell tour. Nobody could have predicted shoes being used as a missile.

              by William Domingo on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:44:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not necessarily dupes. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                abrauer, island in alabama

                But all too willing to swallow the CW which I think is seeded by the repubs. (Dems are weak on national security, tax and spend Democrats with no negative repub frames)  Remember these people are in a bubble far removed from real life. In their world Applebee's has salad bars, Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for 9/11, drinking orange juice instead of coffee for breakfast is some kind of character flaw, and being unable to bowl is downright unAmerican and will lose elections.

                When all of them are saying essentially the same thing it's echoes throughout the bubble.  That becomes the CW, no matter how ludicrous these bon mots are. It also displays an inherent laziness, as well as the result of cost cutting in news personnel, in modern day journalism. Far easier and cheaper for someone to provide you the "news" than to go out and find it yourself.  Repubs have a leg up on Dems in that respect.

                Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist.-George Carlin

                by mentaldebris on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:58:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  all too willing to swallow the CW (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  itsbenj, mentaldebris

                  Well I'm not a mind reader, but I got a simpler explaination for that. I think people who are all too willing to swallow the CW do so because they believe it to begin with. As far as the ones that don't believe it to begin with, the media heads don't want to hire those people, in most cases anyway.

                  Bush Jr's Iraq farewell tour. Nobody could have predicted shoes being used as a missile.

                  by William Domingo on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:14:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  scared? (3+ / 0-)

              The owners of the corporate legacy media are in the top 0.001% who have benefited from centrist neoliberal economic and neoconservative foreign policy and from Bush tax cuts and from the financial wizardry that has made trillions of dollars disappear ... in part, into their bank accounts.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:59:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  scared? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alizard, island in alabama, Edgewater

                I don't know if you've had a chance to listen to Mike Malloy for the first part of this past week, but he said the media heads (right-wing heads BTW, Clear Channel owns almost all radio stations thanks to Clinton) who have been "letting" Progressive Radio on the air are shutting it down in city after city because they feel it's been working just a little "too" good.

                Bush Jr's Iraq farewell tour. Nobody could have predicted shoes being used as a missile.

                by William Domingo on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:42:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  you can only go to that well so many times (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          abrauer, island in alabama

          Sure, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but it looks like that only amounts to about 30 percent of the American voting public.

      •  I agree w/ you to a point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, William Domingo

        They'll give him some lead time on this.  But we, and our Dem officials, and high profile progressive talkers, have to remind people - how we got into this mess.  Because Rush has already started referring to this as the "Obama recession".  In a few months people will start thinking about it that way if we don't hit back on that HARD RIGHT NOW.

        •  Rush referring to this as the "Obama recession". (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Edgewater

          Nancy Skinner, the woman who filled in for Randi Rhodes the other day, said that on Fox (she goes on Fox a lot to present the Liberal view) they are already asking how long does it take till Obama can be given "ownership" of the recession.  

          Bush Jr's Iraq farewell tour. Nobody could have predicted shoes being used as a missile.

          by William Domingo on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:22:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, no (37+ / 0-)

    I think when many people argue against "bipartisanship" what they're really saying is they want more blood on the floor.

    When most people argue against "bipartisanship" what they're really saying is they want more progressive legislation. If you could work with Republican to produce good bills, I'd be a bipartisan as bipartisan could be. But you can't compromise with crazy.

    Which is to say that I measure the success of an outcome less by what its impact on Obama's approval ratings (which were bound to fall a little) than by the substance of the policy.

    And you'll notice that even though O's started off making nice, he still has to endure lectures from pundits (like the appropriately named Charles Blow) that he's tarnishing his brand and falling into the GOP's trap.

    In fact, O's promise of bipartisanship and changing the tone is a self-imposed trap. Every time he gets as tough as is necessary the media will tsk tsk him for straying from his principles and for failing to change the tone of DC.

    The sooner he discards with unsustainable promise to be "bipartisan" the better.

    •  Charles Blow hedged his argument (31+ / 0-)

      The conclusion of Blow's column today argued on the other side of your summation (and of his own opening words):

      Republicans are trying to draw Democrats into a screaming match because they know they’re better at it. They are the masters of shrill — masters of stoking ignorance and rousing rabble.

      Democrats, on the other hand, should know better, especially No Drama Obama. He comes across as much more competent when he appears unflappable.

      I also think that it's much more likely that the "bipartisan" rhetoric will continue for four (eight) years even when he's sticking the knife into them. And I think that's the wise approach.

      •  I just haven't seen him "stick the knife in" yet, (8+ / 0-)

        but I also am taking the long view and it's been less than a month that this man has been POTUS, so there's lots of time left to see how he operates in this regard.

        •  there are probably a number of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          island in alabama

          moderate Republicans who know that Limbaugh is lose-lose for them whether they embrace him and lose the general election or repudiate him and lose the primaries who would probably disagree with you about "sticking in the knife" after Obama hung Limbaugh around their necks.

          You can identify them by the knives Obama no doubt with the best possible intentions and good will carelessly and inadvertently left in their backs.

          IOW, my read on the situation is that actual bipartisanship with both sides making real contributions to governing the nation may be the kind of government Obama wants, and really, I think this is what all sane people want.

          But if the idea is effective government for the people in the current political environment involving actual Republicans in office, bipartisanship can not possibly be more than a short-term political tactic which is most effective after it is publicly shown to be a failure generating political demand from the voters to shove the GOP into a closet and nail the door shut so Obama can pass job-producing programs without them.

          The price for getting to a center-right political party capable of effectively participating in government? The GOP has to boot its crazies out or be replaced by a corporate center-right party in which the crazies are not welcome unless they sit down, STFU, and do as they are told.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:20:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, to a point (12+ / 0-)

        I don't think it's bad to say you want to be bipartisan--the public eats that stuff up--and it's certainly not bad when the public views the other side as the obstructionist assholes.

        I think it's very bad when your wish to be bipartisan hurts legislation and prevents you from taking control of the debate early on with tough rhetoric. It seems to me that both of these things happened.

        •  Obama did lose control of the messaging (9+ / 0-)

          A rare misstep.

          Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

          by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:26:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It wasn't a misstep, it was a trap of his own (12+ / 0-)

            making. So long as achieving bipartisan Nirvana is the goal, he'll fall in the same trap again and again.

            •  But I do not believe that bipartisanship has ever (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brit, Elise, tiredntexas, NM Ward Chair

              been his sole goal.

              All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

              by MikePhoenix on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:57:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Primary goal? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                0wn
              •  I agree. Like anyone who (6+ / 0-)

                has an important goal to pursue, sometimes you miss seeing the forest through the trees.  I think that momentarily happened to Obama.  He focused so much on the bi-partisanship tree (and doing some important housecleaning and moving other issues through) that he didn't immediately notice that most of the repubs were busily hacking off branches of the good legislation tree and setting fire to the ground around it.

                The thing I think the Democrats and Obama can't quite grasp (and it's easy to understand because the truth is too unsettling to contemplate) is the many of the repubs are far more interested in their party and far more interested in seeing Obama fail than they are in coming to the aid of this country they helped to destroy. Whether it's a form of denial or psychosis, I cannot say.

                They have become so scorched-earth in their ideology that it trumps everything, even the economic health of this country.  Limbaugh voiced it out loud and he can try to walk that back as far as he wants but it was the unvarnished, if mostly unspoken, truth of the repub party. All of their actions and words confirm it.  From the house planning on not voting for the package even before it arrived right up to the Senate fiasco. They want Obama to fail. Period.  Hell, as much as I hated Bush and predicted he'd fail I never deliberately wanted him to fail. Because I knew his failure would mean a failure of this country and that is unacceptable because the health of America goes beyond parties and politics.  The repubs seem to have forgotten that fact.

                How can you pursue bipartisanship, much less effectively work with people, so desperate to see you fail just to save their ideology? People who are willing to sacrifice the well being of the country, which they apparently view as collateral damage, to further their proven failure of a cause?  

                Do you allow their bad ideas to continue undermining the health of the nation? Do you respect them and then pass over the things they offer that don't work while embracing the things that might? Do you roll right over them (and it would be within your rights to do so) to give your ideas a chance to succeed or fail on their own merits?

                Hopefully Obama can find a balance in those questions.  I'm all for respect and entertaining ideas from the opposition, but not if it means half measures and continuing to allow issues that have a proven failure rate to continue undermining the success of this country. The change I voted for was allowing new ideas take hold while jettisoning the things that don't work.  

                Obama said, it's not a question of whether government is too big or too small, but whether it works.  You guarantee that it won't work if you keep reusing bad ideas that have not worked in the past and expect a different result--even in the name of bipartisanship. Been there, done that.  Voted for change just like a majority of this country. My best wishes to Obama in finding a successful balance.

                Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist.-George Carlin

                by mentaldebris on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:06:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bears repeating. (3+ / 0-)

                  Obama said, it's not a question of whether government is too big or too small, but whether it works.  You guarantee that it won't work if you keep reusing bad ideas that have not worked in the past and expect a different result--even in the name of bipartisanship.

                  Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

                  by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:23:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I dunno (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alizard, dclawyer06, NM Ward Chair

              How many times can the GOP pull this trick & still win the PR war?  They run the risk of becoming the "party who cries wolf", if it's played right, especially since the House Republicans voted No to the much needed stimulus en masse, even after Pres. Obama went down to the Hill & talked w/ them, etc.

              This kind of stuff can help w/ the BIG fight, which IMO will be EFCA.  It's a bill we can make some nice noises about, but then kneecap them GOP, sooper-partisan-like, b/c "we've tried to work the Republicans on a number of issues, but they keep rejecting our advances.  Here is footage showing us doing that.  Now we are sick of their obstructionism.  We need this bill for the American people."

              This will of course require a much better media strategy than we've been seeing from the Dems for the past two weeks.  So...they should work on that.

            •  Right, the goal is not bipartisan comity (7+ / 0-)

              The goal is to fix the economy.  This bill may be too weak to do that.

              Paul Krugman

              The short answer: to appease the centrists, a plan that was already too small and too focused on ineffective tax cuts has been made significantly smaller, and even more focused on tax cuts.

              According to the CBO’s estimates, we’re facing an output shortfall of almost 14% of GDP over the next two years, or around $2 trillion.  

              snip

              Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

              My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

              The real question now is whether Obama will be able to come back for more once it’s clear that the plan is way inadequate. My guess is no. This is really, really bad.

              •  sad fact is (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                debcoop, slinkerwink, Edgewater

                if this bill doesn't "work", and Krugman's point here is very instructive (Obama won't be able to come back for another one, and people will be saying 'wait for the stimulus to work!' for the next 2 years) regarding how this will play out politically, the Republicans will pick up seats in both houses of Congress  — primarily because Dems compromised with their bad ideas right now - for no good reason.

                It was only a couple of flipper babies!

                by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:22:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  To the extent that he "lost" control (3+ / 0-)

            rather than (1) giving the Consgressional Dems a chance to exercise some leadership and (2) giving the Rethugs some rope to hang themselves with -- and I don't think we know yet whether the message was in fact lost -- it wasn't because of "bipartisanship." It was a simple political miscalculation.

            Bipartisanship doesn't mean passivism, surrender, or inaction in the face of opposition. Listening to the good ideas that Republicans have (and yes, they do have some, sometimes -- Grassley has had a couple lately, including this one as well as one he brought up in today's floor debate) is not the same as tolerating their infuriating tendency to repeat the same failed bullshit theories that got us here in the first place.

            Obama has repeatedly shown that his velvet glove contains a tungsten steel hammer. I don't know why so many chicken littles keep forgetting this, or thinking that fidelity to his principle of bipartisanship will require amputation of the hammer.

            Relax - the adults are in charge now.

            by NWTerriD on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:47:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well put (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NWTerriD

              Obama lost control of the framing, not the result.  The 'thugs will come out of this looking very bad indeed.

              It's important to understand the other guy's perspective, even (especially!) when you disagree with it.  Indeed sometimes they raise good points that wouldn't be considered otherwise.

              I disagree with the Rethuglicans on virtually every major policy issue.  However, that doesn't mean we should push them out of the discussion altogether.  We do have to retrain them into civility in order to maximize the benefits of considering their perspective, which may well be impossible.

              Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

              by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:12:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  the basic problem here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        keikekaze

        is that we simply do not know if Obama plans to make himself a one-term President over being accurately seen by the American people as a "bipartisan" GOP patsy

        or

        as I think more likely, he's simply giving the GOP enough rope to hang itself, the opportunity to utterly destroy its own public credibility so the American people will demand that the GOP be left out of public policy debate.

        I lean towards "enough rope" because ... his crowning Limbaugh as the head of the GOP and pushing the GOP into a false choice between embracing Limbaugh and repudiating him was gratuitous from a public policy standpoint. But hanging Limbaugh around the collective necks of the GOP like a dead, stinking fish is great politics.

        And because Obama is reactivating his campaign organization now that the GOP are providing us with obstructionist targets to aim at.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:07:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what you describe (0+ / 0-)

          however, is absolutely terrible! "giving them enough rope" in this case - seems to mean not just making Limbaugh a target, but writing his ridiculous "Bipartisan Stimulus Plan' which he wrote as an Op-Ed in the WSJ, into law pretty much exactly as he asked for.

          so, when this bill inevitably does not accomplish what it needs to, it will be on Obama. nobody will be blaming Limbaugh, and any attempts to will be met with outright laughter. and what happends then? Rush says "see folks, we told you so" and the Repugs pick up more seats in 2 years, making passing a real bill that much harder.

          It was only a couple of flipper babies!

          by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:25:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No need to scream when you have the power (5+ / 0-)

        Just be firm.  Good parents never need to yell at unruly children. Start from strength.  More money in the bill to start like 1.3 trillion and only 10% tax cuts...then go down 100 billion and go to 20% tax cuts.  

        POTUS would have been both firm and lauded for his bipartisanship, and the most crucially important a bill with enough oomph to actually HELP THE ECONOMY out of what is now going to be a very deep recession.

      •  Diary 2004: I, McCainiac by Al Giordano (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj, slinkerwink, Edgewater

        aka The Field

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Precis of the diary from the Spring of 2004. In this diary he declares that without doubt the only person who should be the Democratic party's VP is John McCain for all the nonsensical reasons that have been shown to be non operative by McCain's quest for the 2008 presidency.  And his wonderful speech on the Senate floor wanting a stimulus bill composed of nothing but tax cuts.

        It's very interesting to go back and read the same misguided, but highly self regarding comments made by someone who seems to be using these same ideas and rationales once again.

        I think Barack Obama is smart enough to learn...hopefully others are too.

        •  wow!!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          amazing.

          people, read this one, and stop listening to this guy!

          what a fucking joke.

          It was only a couple of flipper babies!

          by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:25:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Right On Time! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, Brit

          Veteran cyber-stalker Debcoop to appear in an Al Giordano diary and make the same "gotcha" spam comment she makes whenever she shows up on my diaries... about my view five years ago that had John Kerry chosen the 2004 version of John McCain as his running mate (something that the books about that campaign by Bob Shrum and others have since reported that Kerry had very seriously considered and had wanted to do)... as if it somehow discredits me.

          Ha ha. Lova ya Deb. The only problem with your stalking campaign is that the guy Kerry did pick did nothing for the ticket - couldn't even win him his home state of North Carolina - and history bore that choice out to be a big mistake.

          Had Kerry done that instead, you can't say with any certainty that we wouldn't have been spared four terrible years of Bush.

          Kisses,

          Al

          •  And gotten a real right wing Republican (0+ / 0-)

            as next in line to the presidency?  Either if something had happened to John or for the Democratic nomination in 2012.

            George Bush won in 2004 not because of who John Kerry was or who his VP was or could have been...I worked my tail off for him by the way....But because the Republicans had 4 years to create an on the ground campaign that overwhelmed typical Democratic get out the vote programs.

            I know I worked in Florida.  They had people in every county, targeting every voter even if it was a Democratic county, we just went for places that had massive Democratic advantage, our usual strategy.

            My point is the failure to recognize that John McCain was never, ever anything but a right wing Republican...is a very big failure of political judgement and  the ability to see the truth about the politcal process.  In John Kerry it was more understandable because they had a very personal, warm relationship which clouded his judgement...for a while.

            You have rosy glasses on all the time.  And sometimes the times call for it and it's great, but not this time, this era.  What would you have said about FDR when he called the rich "the malefactors of wealth".   He didn't reach out to them.  He wasn't bipartisan.  But he saved capitalism and the country.

          •  By the way I want to make this clear (0+ / 0-)

            I very, very much want Barack Obama to succeed. I want him to be a great president.  Because if he succeeds, we all do. The disaster looming in front of us has to averted or we all founder.

            He has the right intentions, he gets lots of the big picture...but when Republicans are  more like Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint, bipartisanship is as dangerous as the Lorelei luring sailors to their death.

            This is not your father's Republican party of Ike and even Nixon.  They are so right wing and so entrenched in their right wing nostrums that they think day is night.  They don't care if their actions causes the ship of state to founder; they just want to be in power when it goes under.

            You can't reason with almost all of them, just a remnant, Snowe, Collins, Spector, sometimes Voinivich or Martinez.  All your tactics shuld be aimed at them.  

  •  Difficult times hurt leaders.... (8+ / 0-)

    no matter what actions they take.

    Lincoln would have lost the election of 1864 had there not been a few last minute military victories.  Nothing changed in his policies, only the sense of optimism that the end of the carnage may be at hand.

    We are at the end of an era of leveraged growth that was not based on the intrinsic value of what America was producing.  We also had a relative consensus, perhaps not on this site, but widespread enough, that those who became wealthy somehow were doing what was "right" even if we couldn't quite understand it.

    So those who made millions, tens or hundreds of millions a year were envied rather than reviled.  This is over!  More important than the details of the Stimulus bill, will be the plan to save the banks that will be announced in the next few days.

    This, along with the plan for those who are "under water" on their mortgages will divide this country, and cause great anger....no matter what form it actually takes.

    The liberals reader of the N.Y. Times are absolutely opposed to the position of the Editorial Board, as demonstrated by the comments on the dozens of editorials that demanded ending foreclosures.  The readers, most of whom have not gone overboard in their housing, are irate that they will end up paying for those that did.

    And these are mostly Democrats.  So, Obama is between a rock and a hard place.  Whatever he does, in many areas, will slice his support.  

    You can get elected by vague promises of change, allowing each person to imagine it is change that will help them.  But there is an old but true saying, "To govern is to choose"  

    And to choose is to lose support of those who are harmed by such choices.

    •  The best option now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, slinkerwink, 0wn, Klaus

      is extreme partisanship by way of the nuclear option in the Senate.

      •  that's the only possible way that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, 0wn

        Obama can get his future legislation passed, like health care reform. Without that, the Republicans will continue to oppose his bills every single step of the way, and defang the effect of the bills by diluting and watering it down by compromising with the Blue Dogs.

        •  Health care reform is an exception (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          it can actually be attached to the budget reconciliation bill, which cannot be filibustered.  Of course this will take guts too, but not as much as the nuclear option.

          But things like the Employee Free Choice Act will need the invocation of the nuclear option.  I think the Repubs proved their extreme obstructionism in the last two weeks, and the Dems have ample justification to invoke the nuclear option over the stimulus.

          •  um, what? (0+ / 0-)

            no, health care reform will most certainly be a separate piece or suite of legislation from the budget. elements of it can be in the budget, but if what you're saying was true, we would have had Hillary's plan passed over a decade ago.

            It was only a couple of flipper babies!

            by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:27:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The nuclear option (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, LEP, Brit, NWTerriD, Dragon5616

        was only about Judicial nominees, and we might need to use it to get truly progressive jurists onto the courts.  The worm always turns; we need to be very careful about tinkering with the mechanics of the system.

        Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

        by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:28:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  For the Repubs it was just that (0+ / 0-)

          we can expand it to eliminate the filibuster in total using nuclear option as well.  

          •  We can't, actually. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit

            The Repug strategy was for the chair (Cheney) to rule filibusters out of order for Judicial nominees.  Changing the filibuster rule itself entails changing the Senate rules, which would require a 2/3 vote.

            We don't have 67 votes necessary to change a Senate rule.  It's also a very bad idea, IMHO.  We won't always be in power.  The price of giving ourselves a blank check now is giving it to the Rethuglicans later.  No thank you.

            I object to permanent damage to the Senate for short-term gain.

            Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

            by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:39:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not the case (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink, Klaus

              We just have the chair rule the filibuster out of order for legislation, or for every piece of legislation individually.  

              Our country's economic survival is at stake.  It is a crisis on par with the Great Depression/WWII, and the Repugs are playing politics with it.  It isn't for short term gain here, and the nuclear option is warranted if the Repugs continue playing politics and pretending as if their ideas were not completely rejected in 2008.

              •  We'd actually need a justification for that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit

                The 'thugs did have one for Judicial nominations, even though it was weak.  Changing the Senate rules for expediency's sake is a horrible idea, IMHO.  neither Reid nor Biden would do such a thing, I'm sure.  We don't need to be as dishonest as Republicans to get what we want.  

                Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:02:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Justification is easy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  island in alabama

                  The anti-American Republicans are blocking the economic recovery package, and would let the country drown in a Depression to play politics and pursue their failed ideology.  This package won't move unless the Senate gets a vote on this legislation.  

                  •  I meant a parliamentary justification (0+ / 0-)

                    The 'thugs could say the same thing about us.  Oh wait!  They actually did say such things.  It didn't work out so well for them, did it?

                    One vote, one issue is not worth gutting the Senate rules.  We want to be perceived as standing up to the bully Rethuglicans, not as bullies ourselves.

                    Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                    by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:35:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Average Americans couldn't relate (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      island in alabama

                      to judicial nominations.  They can relate to the economic disaster.  There's a very big difference.

                      We may not want to be perceived as bullies, but we don't want to be seen as spineless cowards and incompetents either.  Which we will be if Repubs are allowed to keep obstructing legislation.

                      •  "Average Americans" probably can't relate to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Brit

                        Senate rules at all.  It's totally Inside Baseball.

                        The "Nuclear option" is a bad idea and completely impractical from a process perspective.  I share your frustration, but making ourselves into a mirror image of the Rethuglicans isn't in our interest, and it won't work.  Republicans can talk about the "Nuclear option" with a straight face because their values are totally authoritarian.  Our values are co-operative, so we can't do it their way, lest we become exactly like them.  We have to govern as Democrats, not as Republicans with different policies.

                        Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                        by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:53:09 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I Agree That the Nuclear Option is (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          NM Ward Chair

                          not only a bad idea but an impractical one from a process point of view.  And I also agree that this usually comes off as inside baseball and makes peoples' eyes glaze over.

                          However... do think the concept, idea and frame of "up or down vote" is simple enough and taps directly into an innate sense of fairness in the public. I think we should be shouting that phrase from the highest rooftop with the loudest bullhorn as often as we can.  We should be drumming it into the American people's pysce so far that those five words transcend inside baseball and make the GOP pay a very high political price just for daring to use a filibuster. On anything.

                          And we should be very consistent in CALLING their tactic a filibuster and in resisting the now common meme that "it takes 60 votes to get something done".

    •  You are wise beyond your years (6+ / 0-)

      and I don't even know how old you are.  It is pretty annoying to keep reading how Obama should or shouldn't do this or that to maintain his high approval rating.  I think to him it is way more important to prevent another Great Depression than to keep his own high numbers.  And no matter how much we dislike the Repubs and no matter that the Dems won on Nov 4, the Repubs are still there and still have actual power.  They have votes in Congress and voices on the TV.  They still get more TV air time.  They seriously want to protect their kleptocratic way of life.  It would suit them just fine for Obama to fail and for America to fail so they can just finally put in a dictator (Dick Cheney?) and enslave the masses without so much feedback.  They must be dealt with very artfully.  I believe that Obama has excellent political instincts and skills.  What seems to us as a "cave" may be better for all of us in the long run.  Personally, it is much better for my mental health to avoid trying to retroactively micromanage every step Obama takes.
      I do wish his websites had more structure devoted to us giving him our opinions and ideas.  It seems like he is more interested in our questions.  

      I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

      by fayea on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:53:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this excellent overview. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

      by TheWesternSun on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:45:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's not true. FDR did the right things (2+ / 0-)

      for the depression and that strengthened him politicially.

  •  Disagreed. (19+ / 0-)

    If you don't think O's outreach efforts have been perceived as weakness by the republicans then you should pay closer attention.

    He's nearly destroyed his own honeymoon period(with congress) by constantly reaching out and trying to include republicans. Witness Lindsey Graham's tantrum the other day? You think O can work with him in good faith?

    Or what about McCain, a man who O went to great lengths to honor. McCain is now doing everything in his power to knee-cap Obama.

    The bipartisan/post-partisan crap has got to fucking stop. ENOUGH!

    •  What the "Republicans perceive" is irrelevant (40+ / 0-)

      Most of what they perceive is not reality based.

      What matters is how Independents and swing voters and the anti-partisans (who distrust Congressional leaders in both parties) perceive the situation, and this is where the bipartisanship rhetoric sets a perpetual trap for the Republicans. As they falsely read it as "weakness" they end up doing exactly as Lindsey Graham did: throwing drama queen tantrums on national TV. That does not hurt the progressive agenda at all. It helps.

      And watch Graham and McCain in particular. After their current tactics fail miserably they'll be among the first to change-up and become the key crossover votes to reach cloture on other future big legislation. That's how they've always done it, those two: A lot of bluster in the beginning and later resignation and the kind of bipartisanship that makes Limbaugh et al hate them and call them turncoats. Just watch as it plays out exactly as I've just described it.

      •  Name Three Examples... (7+ / 0-)

        ...where Graham in the end sided with us and compromised at the end in our direction and not in the direction of the Republicans.  

        "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

        by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:42:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here you go (10+ / 0-)
          1. Immigration Reform in 2007 (I see that as a huge deal and it will soon be again).
          1. Gang of 14 on judicial nominations (yes, I know that not everybody agrees that was in "our direction" but significant numbers do).
          1. His timely defense of the Geithner nomination for Treasury Secretary last month was very key in turning momentum back around for it.
          •  Nope (23+ / 0-)
            1. He was acting in the interests of the Chamber of Commerce, who were looking for cheap gastarbeiters.  It was Bush's position.
            1. Upheld Republican position of eliminating filibuster if the Dems used it for a judicial vote.  The results were Roberts and Alito.  
            1. Giving the president his appointee?  Eh, whatever.  Not something I consider particularly substantive.  

            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:53:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  thank you for being the voice of reality. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              0wn, Edgewater
            •  Did you oppose immigration reform? (4+ / 0-)

              Because that would put us on different sides of the barricades.

              •  Oh, You Think It Was That Simple? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                itsbenj, chuckvw, 0wn

                Interesting.  

                "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:58:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Did You Favor a Permanent Underclass... (6+ / 0-)

                ...of underpaid workers with no chance to ever get citizenship?  

                "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:58:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I favor a path to citizenship (13+ / 0-)

                  ...for 12 million undocumented Americans. That is what the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill would have accomplished. I don't know where you get the "no chance to ever get citizenship" claim, but that's exactly what the bill was trying to fix and might have had 13 Democrats not sold us out.

                  But you're evading the question. Let me restate it:

                  Did you support or oppose the 2007 immigration reform bill?

                  Will you support or oppose it when, as Obama has promised, it comes up again in his first year?

                  You, who ask all these schoolmarm quiz show questions ought to be able to provide "yes or no" answers since you demand them so petulantly and so regularly.

                  •  Then You Don't Know WTF You're Talking About (7+ / 0-)

                    That proposal would have created a system where people would have come here to work for a few years but never be able to apply for citizenship.  And I don't support anything that sets up a system where people will come here to work for low wages, driving down wages for working class Americans, and furthermore never get an opportunity to become American citizens.

                    There were many people who opposed that bill from the left, in part because other than PEPFAR it's pretty much impossible to come up with anything significant that was fully supported by Bush that was good for the country and good from a Democrat's perspective.  That you were credulous enough to accept Bush's Chamber of Commerce-back dream of using foreigners as low-wage gastarbeiters and think that any Democratic opposition to it was a "sell out" doesn't say much for you care in judging legislation or your ability to accept nuance or disagreement or blind obedience.  

                    "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                    by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:12:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're talking about HB1 Workers (5+ / 0-)

                      ...a much smaller group in that bill than the 12 million that are kept in the very slavery-without-citizenship trap that the bill's failure continued.

                      I think it's rather upper-class biased of you to damn 12 million who earn minimum wage or less to that condition in the name of 100,000 or so workers that earn an average of $80,000 a year because the bill would have facilitated their replacement with tech professionals from other lands that would have made $60,000 a year.

                      At least we understand your math better: Protecting 100,000 who make $80,000 a year is so important to you that you'll keep 12 million in misery and poverty.

                      (I think that was a negative thing about the bill but in the end I could do the math and see that by a factor of 12,000 more people's lives would be improved. It's a contradiction that is not likely to be in the next bill because Hilda Solis, should she get confirmed, will be taking the lead on it and she's good on both issues enough not to mix them in a compromise.)

                      •  Oh, Yes, I'm Very Upper Class Biased (9+ / 0-)

                        You know, coming from a family where I'm the first person to graduate high school, I'm always thinking of how to protect that silver spoon that was in my mouth when your domestic help were there at my birth.  

                        You really don't know wtf you're talking about regarding that bill.  It wasn't just H1-B visas that would have been expanding.

                        You may think I have an "upper class bias," which is quite hilarious, but it's pretty clear from your recent postings that you have an authoritarian bias: you don't want anyone to question authority, and you attack them if they do.  

                        Quite tiresome, and more than a little insufferable.  

                        "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                        by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:20:30 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  After all, he's the one that coined the phrase (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          0wn, notquitedelilah, Edgewater

                          Chicken Littles here.

                          •  Yeah - I got that one from him too (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            itsbenj, slinkerwink

                            here is the exchange:

                            None of the people who I mentioned  
                            as wondering how OFA will work out has brought up any straw-man here.  I am not bringing up any strawman either.  

                            Your absolute refusal to grant that wondering about how OFA will turn out is legitimate reinforces noquitedelilah's  point if your posts here are indicative of how OFA will behave.

                            I hope that your behavior in this thread is not indicative of how OFA will turn out and I hope it is not illustrative of how most people in OFA treat others who want to learn more about how it works.

                            Again, asking questions is something Obama himself has encouraged people to do.  

                            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                            by Edgewater on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:05:17 PM PST

                            Your paranoia doesn't serve you well
                            I'm not a spokesman for Organizing for America. And you're assignment of such powers to me or others reveals severe paranoia on your part.

                            But you can damn well bet that there are growing numbers of us that laugh in the face of you Eeyores and Chicken Littles and see through your concern trollish BS of claiming you're just "asking questions" when you're making up fictions and calling them fact.

                            I'm not sure what you think you're accomplishing, because you're not succeeding in spreading your misery to others, not to me, or to anybody else as far as I can see.

                            The Field.

                            by The Field on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 01:10:07 PM PST

                            In this thread:

                            Hoping Against Hope? A Response to Limbaugh & Teachout

                            This individual has an insulting and demeaning style of commenting makes him seem like his only interest is belittling whoever questions his notions even in the most innocuous of ways.  

                            I completely agree with DHinMI here:

                            it's pretty clear from your recent postings that you have an authoritarian bias: you don't want anyone to question authority, and you attack them if they do.

                            This person's method of communication is the antithesis of everything I expect from progressive debate or discussion.

                            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                            by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:36:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  he's basically a bully. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Edgewater
                        •  I can see (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Phoenix Woman, Brit, taiping1

                          That our feelings are mutual for each other.

                          But where your head explodes so predictably and regularly, I think it's entertaining.

                          •  Funny You Think Failure To Grant You Submission.. (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            itsbenj, slinkerwink, chuckvw, 0wn, Edgewater

                            ...and adulation as the beacon of THE TRUTH means someone's head is exploding.

                            I'll bet there are lots of people who enjoy your easy-going and humble manner and seek out your company.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:24:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Freudian Slip? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          slinkerwink, Edgewater

                          Typo:

                          ou know, coming from a family where I'm the first person to graduate high school, I'm always thinking of how to protect that silver spoon that was in my mouth when OUR domestic help were there at my birth.

                          "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                          by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:22:23 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  You are right about this among other things in (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          slinkerwink

                          your posts here:

                          it's pretty clear from your recent postings that you have an authoritarian bias: you don't want anyone to question authority, and you attack them if they do

                          I've seen this behavior from him in several threads now.  

                          I appreciate your response to this inappropriate communication trait.

                          "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                          by Edgewater on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:41:35 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I'll Bet Can't Answer These Questions... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        itsbenj, slinkerwink, 0wn

                        ...in relationship to the "reform" bill that was debated in 2007:

                        Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:

                        1. Contain a meaningful path to citizenship - one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a poison-pill touchback requirement - for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;
                        1. Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and
                        1. Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon Act?

                        Those questions were deeply informed by the flaws in the Bush-backed proposal in 2007 that you so love.  They're also questions posed to prospective Orange to Blue candidates.  Apparently you're not progressive enough, were you to run for Congress, to be chosen as an Orange to Blue endorsed candidate.    

                        "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                        by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:30:35 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Tough Progressives (6+ / 0-)

                          As Trapper John put it in that O2B post:

                          Blue Dogs believe that:

                          residual forces make them look like tough realists;

                          civil liberties are for dirty hippies;

                          bankruptcy is for poor blacks;

                          and amnesty makes Democrats look weak, while a cheap-labor guest worker program makes them look "business friendly"

                          Tough progressives -- O2B Democrats -- believe that:

                          residual forces are just another way of perpetuating Bush's mistakes;

                          civil liberties are at the heart of what it means to be American;

                          unfair restrictions on bankruptcy are an attack on the working class;

                          and a path to citizenship rewards hard work and love of America, while a guest worker program turns immigrants into indentured servants, and undercuts wages and working conditions for citizens and permanent residents.

                          "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                          by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:34:45 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  The McCain-Kennedy Bill (7+ / 0-)

                        Would have dramatically expanded not just the H-1B program, but the H-2B program - which imports cheap "unskilled" labor.  And would have done so without any meaningful protections for domestic wage markets. The temporary worker program included in McCain-Kennedy would have displaced or lowered the wages of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lower-wage workers - both native-born and immigrant - in the construction and service industries. Moreover, McCain-Kennedy would have gutted family unification as a principle of our immigration prioritization system - a move which would have disproportionately hurt poorer immigrants whose relatives are less likely to qualify for immigration under the alternative "skills-based" regime. So you can knock off the bullshit elitism charges. There was a progressive, worker-focused case against McCain-Kennedy.

                        I think that was a negative thing about the bill but in the end I could do the math and see that by a factor of 12,000 more people's lives would be improved. It's a contradiction that is not likely to be in the next bill because Hilda Solis, should she get confirmed, will be taking the lead on it and she's good on both issues enough not to mix them in a compromise.

                        So what you're saying is that by not passing McCain-Kennedy and its odious temporary worker provisions, we're going to get better immigration reform -- a bill with a path to legalization, but one that doesn't use easily exploited "guest workers" to undercut wage markets. Well, I agree -- and that's why I opposed McCain-Kennedy. Because I believed we could get a better bill if we waited for a Democratic president.

                        •  We can and should do better now (0+ / 0-)

                          I was of two minds over the McCain-Kennedy bill, which certainly reflected the political realities of 2007.  In 2009, we Democrats are in the drivers seat and ought to be able to drop the temporary worker expansion nonsense.  Still, the existing undocumented workers are far more exploitable than more temporary workers would be, and they have been exploited for another 2 years along with the rest of us.  I don't see that as a victory.

                          Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                          by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:44:11 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  At least you offered your opinion (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Brit, taiping1

                          At the time (whereas other front-pagers offered abject silence). I disagreed with you then and wrote about that disagreement at the time.

                          Your point about getting a better bill now is well taken. But as of May-June 2007, that outcome was hardly guaranteed or even likely to come out of 2008 (and there still will be many a slip twixt the cup and the lip).

                          Hopefully this time those two very different issues - HB1 & HB2 lumped in with path to citizenship for 12 million+ - will be dealt with separately.

                          Still, by my math, Kennedy-McCain had far more good than the bad.

                        •  Where's the line? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          The Field

                          At what point do we stop knocking down non-perfect bills with the goal of "we'll do it the right way later".  I mean, if McCain had won (and this would be the least of our worries, but still) we would be basically guaranteed another 4 years without reform.  So then we're looking at undocumented workers having to wait until NEXT election - a total then of half a decade - before we could even TRY to get them a path to citizenship.

                          I wasn't involved in the Immigration Bill fight, so I'm not meaning anything more than using this as an example.  I more mean in general, for all legistation that we know is going to be difficult getting passed, both while Dems are in the Majority and for the possible days when Dems are back in the Minority.

                          •  "Near Perfect?" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, Edgewater

                            Really, you think stopping family-based immigration in favor of skills based immigration, while also implementing a guest worker program akin to what you find in Germany and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is "near perfect?"  

                            Huh.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:16:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um....I said "NON-Perfect". (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Phoenix Woman, Brit, The Field

                            I understand you and Al (and slinkerwink) are in the middle of a heated conversation...but I would appreciate if you would take a moment to calmly read my comment completely and respond respectfully to me, at least when I am attempting to give you that same courtesy.

                            I'm asking about process, not that particular bill.  It could be on Immigration Reform, Healthcare Reform, Alternative Energy...whatever.

                          •  "Near Perfect," "Non-perect" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, dclawyer06

                            Sorry for not quoting you accurately and exactly, but I fail to see where there's a big difference in this context.  "Non-perfect" implies something pretty damn good, and I and others think it was a long, long way from "non-perfect."  In fact, I think it was "non-good."  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:49:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Context. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Brit, The Field

                            "Non-perfect" wasn't meaning "pretty damn good".  If I meant that context, I would have used those words.  It was meaning not perfect, and specifically not near perfect.  If it's 60% of what we want.  Or 70% of what we want.  Or 50% of what we want.  Or whatever.

                            Based on your response, I'm assuming that your feeling is that it has to be a case by case basis?

                               Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:

                                  1. Contain a meaningful path to citizenship - one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a poison-pill touchback requirement - for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;

                                  2. Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and

                                  3. Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon Act?

                            So if we got an Immigration Bill that only met 2 of these 3 bulletpoints because we don't have a fillibuster-proor majority, should we shelve it until after 2010?  What happens if we don't get over 60?  Do we hold off for another 2 years?

                          •  I'd Deal With It Then. But The McCain-Kennedy... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...bill didn't meet any of those three criteria.  #1 was unclear, because there were lots of comments and support for a touchback provision, and 2 and 3 definitely weren't part of that bill.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:07:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fair enough...but: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            The Field

                            are we to wait until we have a bill with all 3 points and a filibuster-proof majority before we try to move forward on this (and other) issue(s)?

                            It's looking like we'll get get to the 60 votes in 2010...so currently the answer might be a yes.  But I'm trying to think long term - we probably won't hold onto that level of a majority forever.

                            That's not to say we shouldn't work for a bill with all 3 points...

                          •  It Was Never Going to Happen Under the Repubs... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...because their nativist base wouldn't support any of it.  And this is a case where I think you DO need a bipartisan bill, because there would be plenty of opposition from both parties, and it's one of those things you have to agree to pass by garnering the votes from the safe members in both caucuses.  It's what sortakinda happened with the TARP; it was mostly safe members from both parties who passed it because it was deemed important even though unpopular.

                            Immigration reform is the same thing.  It will need to be passed with votes from both caucuses.  It will be more popular with Dems, so it's natural more Dems will support it.  But you'll also need some Republican votes.  I think on this issue, it will be easier to get enough votes now that we have larger majorities.  And even if we strip out the provisions that set up the guest worker program, some Republicans will still support it, because it will still have a good deal of business support.

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:28:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  12 million probably understates the case (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Phoenix Woman, The Field, abrauer

                        Lower and middle class wages are suppressed across the board by the existence of such a large exploitable class, particularly in the restaurant, domestic service, and construction industries.  I'd guess there's a significant multiplier effect on decreasing wages.

                        Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                        by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:36:56 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)

                          It's the keeping so many people "illegal" that drags down the wages and union organizing of many, many tens of millions more that are already citizens.

                          •  And The McCain-Kennedy Bill Would Have... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, 0wn, Edgewater

                            ...simply replaced the mechanism that currently keeps wages depressed with a new exploitive mechanism that would have kept wages depressed.  

                            Either you're failing to grasp that obvious point, or it doesn't concern you.

                            Or maybe you're just unwilling to admit that in this subthread, you you were wrong and that your touting of that bill as an exclusive and unambiguously positive solution to the complicated problems posed by trying to reform our responses to legal and illegal immigration was to score a debate point, even though the bill had numerous awful aspects with which we would have been left for years and years to come.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:56:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's a matter of scale (6+ / 0-)

                            100,000 or 200,000 jobs averaging $60,000 instead of $80,000 a year (on average) pulls the economy down far far less than 12,000,000 jobs at "illegal" wages and working conditions.

                            Yes, I understand that parts of the "white progressive" community cared more about the smaller number of college-educated workers than about the much larger number of Mexican-Americans and other manual laborers. I differed from you then and I differ from you now.

                          •  Quit Being Dishonest (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            itsbenj, slinkerwink, dmsilev, Edgewater

                            It's been pointed out to you numerous times on this thread that the issue wasn't only H1-B visas, but also H2-B visas, that are for low-skill workers.  You responded to Trapper John's explicit explanation, claimed to understand it, and now like 15 minutes later you go back to pretending it as only about H-1B visas, and furthermore make an ad hominem to try to detract from the fact that in this argument you've been owned and shown to be uninformed, thin skinned, stubborn and full of shit.

                            I've made my point, and you've also made my point: you're dishonest.  I stand by what I've written here, and I've written enough to establish that you didn't know what you were talking about, and now that it's been pointed out for you, you've added dishonesty to your problems of ignorance.  It's now clear to anyone reading this thread, and it's obvious you're immune to the arguments of others.  Therefore, there's no reason for me to continue to interact with you.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:12:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh Happy Day (6+ / 0-)

                            If only you meant it: "there's no reason for me to continue to interact with you."

                            It's always the same with you: You think you're in a big baby game of "gotcha" and then you delude yourself into thinking that you won it! Ha ha.

                            I don't claim to know where your resentment-envy comes from because as a front-pager you've had all the chance in the world to get attention for your views. If you haven't, that's not the fault of those lowly proles here like me that do it without such a pre-existing advantage.

                            You can sputter all the insults you want. Do I look like I care what you think? I'll keep doing what I do. Sorry if that offends you, but it's your problem.

                          •  This really upsets me. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            The Field, NM Ward Chair

                            I don't know if you've read any of Duke1676's work on immigration reform.  He posted a diary on a progressive plan for immigration reform that I found outstanding.

                            My passion is social justice, and I have to wonder whether if the admittedly flawed comprehensive immigration reform had been passed we still would have seen the horrible human rights abuses in Postville Iowa, for only one example.  Would we have still seen the ICE helping to destroy entire communities on raids that worked more to justify their budget than anything else?

                            I wish you wouldn't go on with DH -- his political intellectualization of virtually every issue, lacking any wisdom or heart, is painful to read.

                            I wish folks would just ignore him when he starts with this nonsense.

                            There are terrible things going on right now and I very much hope we can get past these kinds of sterile arguments, can reach our owh human hearts to overcome the mechanization of our culture that is revealed in these kinds of conversations.

                          •  Oh Heavens, "Painful to Read" (0+ / 0-)

                            Whatever.  Go get the vapors an fan yourself.  

                            And figure out how to write a clear thought: "political intellectualization of virtually every issue, lacking any wisdom or heart" doesn't say anything coherent.  What, you want people to be anti-intellectual?  To not use their brains, but to just feel warm and fuzzy?  

                            And for "sterile arguments," if you don't care about the content of a bill, please stay our of politics, because your "being nice" bullshit will result in you getting rolled by people who actually pay attention to the details and who know intentions matter a hell of a lot less than the forseeable results of one's actions.  You can talk all your wooly-headed "ooooooohm, I care about social justice" namby-pamby bullshit, but you'll get played, and tougher people than you will prevail, and the things you claim to care about will suffer.

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:41:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            On The Bus, ek hornbeck, buhdydharma

                            Painful to read.

                            You work in politics.  That's your job.  You are a front pager, that's also a job.

                            When you start commenting in non-FP diaries you are entering the community which, as markos has made very plain, is moderated by the community.

                            So other aspects get factored in and one of those factors is emotional.  You may wish that not to be the case, and I often wish it myself, but this is a community, not a political job shop or a newspaper - no one gets paid here in any fashion, either monetarily or in terms of power.  For you to imply that emotions and intellect are somehow incompatible, that intellect is strength and emotion weakness is illustrative of your own lack of ability when it comes to community.

                            That's the ground from which I am commenting and that is the ground upon which you pretty much consistently fail.

                            I write a lot about accountability and have worked on the project for Holder to appoint a special prosecutor.  While working on that project, I've had a lot of time to think about justice, about those who feel they are above the law and should never be held accountable.

                            In many ways your behavior in the community aspect of this blog is illustrative of those reflections.  If I were to go into thread after thread with the kind of behavior you exhibit, I'd no doubt be banned.  I do slam folks when I feel the situation warrants it and I'm willing to take the consequences, but I know that if I'm nasty enough for too many folks to take umbrage -- even if I'm right on the issues -- the community will eventually turn against me and I'll get banned.

                            You know you won't be banned no matter how many folks dislike what you bring to this community, and that number has been growing for a long time.

                            So you enjoy a freedom from accountability that I don't.  You are immune from community moderation, as your own behavior shows you will not acknowledge that aspect of this site.  I don't think of you as tough at all -- I see you as a coward who is not willing to take the crap the rest of us have to take in order to gain some credibility here.

                            So yes, in the context of this community, your disruptive comments are sterile intellectualism that never gets to the core of the issue and inhibits real dialogue from taking place.  This is not a political back room no matter how much you try and make it one.

                            The rest of your comment is just bullshit.  If you read my writing here you'd know that "nice" is not a word often applied to me.

                          •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

                            I stopped reading when I got to the part about me supposedly saying or implying that emotion and intellect are incompatible, which I never did.  It was you denigrating intellect (whether or not you realized that's what you were doing), which I called out.  

                            Apparently you couldn't follow that argument.  

                            As for the rest, whatever; I couldn't really make much sense of it.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:31:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  lol ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ek hornbeck

                            ... hard to tell in your comment to me that you weren't denigrating emotion, but that's just my take.  Frankly there was no argument in your comment -- only aggression.

                            I didn't denigrate intellect.  You couldn't follow that argument.  Oh well.

                            Of course you can't make sense of the rest of my argument.  You are in a position of privilege so you don't have to.

                            Cheers.

                          •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

                            Now that it's been pointed out for you, you've added dishonesty to your problems of ignorance.  It's now clear to anyone reading this thread, and it's obvious you're immune to the arguments of others.

                            As someone is just following the argument, I'd say it's the other way round. One person has been losing their temper and making ad hominem remarks: the other has just being trying to voice a contrary opinion.

                            As you suggest, I'll let readers conclude which is which

                            Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

                            by Brit on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:42:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Funny How You Guys Act Like You Have a Camera... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Edgewater

                            ...on me or something, and can tell what my mood is.

                            I'm being blunt.  Maybe you can only be blunt when you're losing your temper, but I'm able to do it quite calmly and matter-of-factly.

                            And as for people judging for themselves, I think they can now judge your capacity to read competently and follow an argument.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:58:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not judging your mood (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Phoenix Woman, On The Bus

                            But I saw a lot of double posts, and then the words 'dishonest' 'ignorance', judgements heaped on in place of debate.

                            I can only judge the tone of the comments, not you. But since you've followed up with a Lilliputian 'you guys' combined with a failed sideswipe at my ability to read comments, I think you kindly proved my point for me.

                            Your need to make attacks is the sign that you're losing the rational argument, in my books at least.

                            Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

                            by Brit on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:10:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dude, You Don't Think or Write Very Well (0+ / 0-)

                            What's "judging" my mood got to do with it?  You don't even KNOW mood, so how would you even be able to "judge" it?

                            You seem not to be able to handle this logic stuff very well...

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:54:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can judge your comments though (0+ / 0-)

                            And virtually every single one is an insult. Very persuasive.

                            Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

                            by Brit on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 03:28:02 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Just Where Warranted (0+ / 0-)

                            What would Schopenhauer have to say about it?  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:42:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So historical ignorance is cool now? (0+ / 0-)

                            Who knows what Schopenhauer would think, but perhaps his follower's tragic theory of will to power might explain why a diarist I used to admire (and who was happy to receive my praise) has begun to act like a petulant and bickering former rock star.

                            Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

                            by Brit on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:03:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

                            Yeah, I'm the ubermensch.  And you're not trying so hard that you've descended in to witless histrionics.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:32:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  but... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Brit, NM Ward Chair

                            I thought you just stomped out of here Alegre-style!

                            I knew you'd be back, despite your words to the contrary.

                          •  Believe It Or Not, You're Not the Entire Site (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            Either you can't read, or you're narcissistic and didn't realize I was declaring discussing substantive stuff with you to be useless.  It's your inherent contempt for the concept of the Dkos community that I find most distasteful about you.  

                            Your dishonest and witless comparison of me to Allegre is yet another example of how I was right.  

                            It must be tough being so thin skinned and insecure.  I'm sure you manage, but it still must be tough and lonely.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:18:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who is claiming to be the entire site? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Brit, Nightprowlkitty

                            Let's see.

                            1. My praise for the book of the leader of this site appears in his book ad on every page here. But according to you I have "inherent contempt for the concept of the DKos community"? Look, Bub, like it or not, I'm part of this community, have been since 2003 - and, ain't I a Kossack?
                            1. This community includes 170+ Kossacks agreed with my diary here enough to rec it and keep it up front all day. During this time I took my gal to lunch, watched a movie, played three games of Scrabble (lost two of them!), managed my own online newspaper, and popped back in and out of here to respond to comments on my diary. And ain't I a Kossack?
                            1. Times have changed. Poutrage is not as dominant a tendency here these days. Oh, it's still strong, but but there's another tendency that has gained ground, one that began quite small in 2007 but keeps growing. And those are the Kossacks I most respect. You say I have contempt for this community. No, sir, I've grown to have contempt for you, but thank god you are not this community any less than I am, and ain't I a Kossack?

                            I think you've shown yourself to be the most thin skinned person here, and many other commenters have told you the same in this very thread. So project all you want - I don't care about your personal problems - but don't you dare claim to speak for the entirety of this community. Because you're not. And whatever part you lay claim to shrunk just a little bit more today!

                            Kisses,

                            Al Giordano

                          •  Oh, Look Up Ad Hominem (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            I'm addressing his arguments, then making statements about him afterward based on what I think his conduct reveals.  He's ignoring or switching subjects away from my arguments and trying to attribute positions to me and make the argument about me instead.  That's a logical fallacy; i.e., ad hominem.  

                            You might conclude I'm insulting him.  But ad hominem is not a synonym for insult.  

                            Knowing the meaning of terms before you use them will save you some embarrassment.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:01:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually you should look up ad hominem (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Anne933

                            ...before you compound the intemperance shown throughout this diary with another double post. I used 'ad hominem' in the current usage as an 'argument' to the character of the man.

                            So rather than pontificate about what you believe it means, I suggest you look up the real logical meaning of ad hominem. It's nothing to do with switching subjects, or putting words into your opponent's mouth As Schopenhauer explains it in the Art of Controversy

                            I. The modes are (1) ad rem, (2) ad hominem or ex concessis. That is to say: We may show either that the proposition is not in accordance with the nature of things, i.e., with absolute, objective truth; or that it is inconsistent with other statements or admissions of our opponent, i.e., with truth as it appears to him.

                            Now what did you say about embarrassing yourself?

                            Basically, an ad hominem is destroying someone's argument by showing they have contradicted themselves elsewhere. But nobody uses it that way anymore. And certainly nobody has ever used it the way you've explained it.

                            Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

                            by Brit on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:21:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Schopenhauer?? Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NM Ward Chair, Edgewater

                            I suppose you're holding back Heidegger and Hegel for your trump cards of obscurity?

                            Ad Hominem has a generally accepted meaning, which is substituting accusations about a person's character or personality rather than addressing the substance of their argument.  It's not difficult to understand, unless you want to confuse things by bringing in Schopenhauer.  

                            Wow.  

                            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:53:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  On that basis,,, (0+ / 0-)

                            My first accusation of ad hominem stands.

                            Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

                            by Brit on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:26:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  hahahahahahahahahahaha! (0+ / 0-)

                            You must have been looking in a mirror when you wrote this!

                            ... and it's obvious you're immune to the arguments of others.

                            I ask you again Dh....have you EVER admitted you were wrong about anything?

                            Iow, have you EVER proven that YOU are not immune to the arguments of others?

                            Talk about dishonesty...and hypocrisy.

                            What a sad, sad joke you are.

                          •  It is a matter of scale, even for the H-2B (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NMLib, The Field

                            "guest worker" program.  I don't know the exact number, but it could not have approached 12 million.

                            I agree that "guest workers" are far too easily exploitable.  Such a program is bad public policy on its face.  However, I am willing to accept incremental gains.  I don't need a home run every time, especially as the visiting team, if you will.  We could of course have reduced the H-2B program's size or eliminated it completely once in power, though.

                            However, this is 2009, not 2007.  I will be pissed if Obama offers up a guest worker program now, just to get 2-3 Rethuglican votes.  We can do better than that.

                            Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                            by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:51:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's so important to you (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Phoenix Woman, Brit, Caerus

                            That others "admit we're wrong." And it's embarrassing for you when you base that on a set of posts - visible to everybody - that fail to make your case.

                            But do keep flailing. It's funny in a slapstick sorta way.

                  •  Oh, And Knock Off the Bullshit... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    slinkerwink, 0wn, Edgewater

                    ...of cloaking yourself in the self-righteousness of wanting people living in the shadows to get a right to be citizens, as if I don't.  You apparently can't imagine any other way to do that while not undercutting plenty of other people at the same time.  I can, which is why I saw no reason to pass "comprehensive immigration reform" with the previous congress and the previous President.  I infer Nancy Pelosi felt the same way, which is why she insisted that the bill start in the Senate, and that she wouldn't expend any political capital in the House unless and until the Senate passed it.

                    "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

                    by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:17:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sure your heart is in the right place, Field (12+ / 0-)

            but you're also using republican frames to describe progressives. We only want to be "tough?" or to exact vengeance? Really?

            Has it occurred to you that those who disagree with you may have legit reasons for their arguments and positions and aren't just being vindictive or short-sighted?

          •  that is 'weak sauce', as they say n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Edgewater

            It was only a couple of flipper babies!

            by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:29:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, it's not big, but it meant something (0+ / 0-)

          to me at the time:

          Graham opposed one article of impeachment in committee vote, making him the only Republican on the Judiciary Committee to vote against any of the four articles.

          Wikipedia

          Yeah, it's been overshadowed by a lot of other things, but at the time it made me think he had some degree of integrity.

          Relax - the adults are in charge now.

          by NWTerriD on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:18:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's a Lawyer Who Is Sometimes Fond... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink

            ...of legalistic nit-picking.  He did the same thing on torture.  He started out with a reasonable position, but in the end settled on a toothless position that was a distinction that really wasn't much of a difference.  

            And in the end, he voted to convict on at least a couple of the charges, so it wasn't like he didn't embrace enough of the Republican bullshit about the impeachment.  

            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

            by Dana Houle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:33:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He not only voted in favor of some of the (0+ / 0-)

              charges; he was one of the House "case managers" (essentially prosecutors) who presented the case for impeachment to the Senate (the jury).

              Which only makes it more startling that he voted against one of the charges in committee. He obviously favored impeachment; he hadn't been in Congress all that long at the time (4 yrs); his vote went against what all the other, more senior and powerful Republicans on the Committee were doing. So, I understand your contempt for him, and will not disagree about whether he deserves it, but whatever the reason, at a very partisan time, he did go against his party on one small but (at least symbolically) significant vote.

              Relax - the adults are in charge now.

              by NWTerriD on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:41:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You're encouraging a strategy that is doomed (12+ / 0-)

        to fail. Every time Obama reaches out his hand to republicans they'll knife him in the stomach.

        They're an opposition party(something weak democrats never understand). They don't want him to be successful. I don't know why that's so hard for you to understand. It even appears the message is seeping into Obama's inner circle.

        As Maddow says, Republicans "are just not that into you."

      •  My husband is a "RINO" (8+ / 0-)

        He calls himself a Republican-- because he was raised as one, because he still clings to the myth of "fiscal responsibility," and because it pisses me off--but he hasn't voted R since Bush I's first term.  For some reason, however, it has been hard for him to totally divorce himself from the party label despite his voting record.

        Now he is watching all of this play out...Obama's generous overtures, his intelligence, his calm and reasoned policy initiatives vs. the Republican's hyperbole and hypocrisy. I'm forcing myself to stay quiet with my "told you sos" even as I watch the scales fall from his eyes. He is utterly disgusted by the GOP shenanigans, watching them showboat while America burns. He's the CEO of his company and has already had to lay off 15 off his 60-person staff this year.

        Trust me, Obama's approach is working with moderates and swing voters on both sides. It may be a slow process, but it will be a powerful one.

    •  Honeymoon period? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      importer, Elise, NM Ward Chair, ohmyheck, zapus

      He's nearly destroyed his own honeymoon period(with congress) by constantly reaching out and trying to include republicans. Witness Lindsey Graham's tantrum the other day? You think O can work with him in good faith?

      Did you seriously believe that President Obama would get a honeymoon period with Republicans in Congress or the Media?

      He can't destroy what he was never going to get in the first place.

    •  Bipartisanship are for weak people. You've got (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      To play tough.

  •  Partisanship isn't about "blood on the floor." (24+ / 0-)

    It's not about rubbing the Republicans faces in their failure.

    It's recognizing that what the Republicans bring to the table is completely bankrupt. From "trickle-down economics" to deregulation to tax cuts to abstinence-only education to pre-emptive war to torture to disaster relief, and much, much more, their ideas have been tested and found wanting.

    Ww know that tax cuts are less effective at stiumlating the economy than direct spending on infrastructure, so why are we wasting our tax dollars on something we know will yield less of a benefit to the economy?

    I'm partisan because our ideas work and theirs don't. I'm partisan because I believe that Americans deserve more than half-efforts from our public servants.

    Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

    by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:33:48 AM PST

    •  It's about holding true to one's progressive (8+ / 0-)

      values. Selling out these values all in the name of bipartisanship earns us nothing but ire from Republicans as they get what they want and show up as the stronger opposition party in this regard.

      •  One of my "progressive values" is (10+ / 0-)

        bipartisanship. And I certainly think it is at the core of who Obama is.

        I think it makes us stronger, not weaker.

        "Obama is just too smart to be stupid." --NYmind

        by Dragon5616 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:09:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, this is one of the President's core values. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          keikekaze, Dragon5616

          And it's why I voted for someone else in the primary.

          Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

          by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:50:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bipartisanship is not a progressive value. (4+ / 0-)

          Oh, it might theoretically be so, if one were talking about bipartisanship between two parties that were both progressive, but who simply went about their progressive agendas in different ways.  In the real world, in which one of the only two viable parties the United States possesses is an essentially fascist and an entirely obstructive one when it comes to enacting policies that would in any way improve the lives of ordinary Americans, bipartisanship can only hinder and halt progress.

          I really don't see anything progressive about permitting progress to be endlessly curbed, denied and thwarted by enemies of progress.

          "If elections really changed anything, they would be outlawed."--Emma Goldman

          by keikekaze on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:03:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  anyone who claims (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Orange County Liberal, Edgewater

            "bipartisanship" to be a progressive value, when what it means to them is compromising with extremist Republicans when there is no need to - should just be laughed at.

            It was only a couple of flipper babies!

            by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:41:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Edgewater

              Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

              by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:41:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can see Obama has his work (0+ / 0-)

                cut out for him, not just with Republicans but with progressives as well.

                That's OK. He expected it:

                But of course, true unity cannot be so easily won. It starts with a change in attitudes – a broadening of our minds, and a broadening of our hearts.

                It’s not easy to stand in somebody else’s shoes. It’s not easy to see past our differences. We’ve all encountered this in our own lives. But what makes it even more difficult is that we have a politics in this country that seeks to drive us apart – that puts up walls between us.

                We are told that those who differ from us on a few things are different from us on all things; that our problems are the fault of those who don’t think like us or look like us or come from where we do.

                You can keep demonizing Republicans. I will follow President Obama's leadership. Treating people with respect is not giving in to them. Giving in is not how I define bipartisanship. Perhaps unity is a better word (at least it's easier to type/spell).

                This effort will be a sustained process. We will see if it bears fruit over time. Obama took some first steps.

                As far as the stimulus legislation goes, that's practical politics. I think the end bill will be one that will work, even if it is not perfect. There's going to be more legislation coming out of Depression II. Deregulation. Additional jobs bills. Additional safety net extensions.

                But as far as work toward unity goes, Obama is laying the foundation.

                NCrissieB had a nice take on this this morning.

                "Obama is just too smart to be stupid." --NYmind

                by Dragon5616 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:04:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Respect partisan diversity! Your ideas are good, (0+ / 0-)

      I want to stop the fuckers buy making them PAY, and PAY, AND PAY.

      Here's the 'bipartisan-shit' deal shithead fascist -

      YOU can deal with Orange County Liberal,

      OR

      YOU can deal with me.

      GET the fuck outta the way.

      rmm.

      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:38:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our time and dollars are being wasted (0+ / 0-)

      on tax cuts that don't really stimulate the economy very much because altho the Dems have risen in power, the Repubs still have some and the bill would not be passed without making it appeal to the 2 or 3 Repubs needed to pass it.  Don't forget, the tax cuts in this bill are (apparently, according to the Kaine video) the ones that Obama campaigned for.  We all seemed to support his ideas for restructuring income tax during the election.  I would really prefer Krugman write the bill, but I doubt if even all the Dems in the Senate would vote for his version.  
      And, it is symbolically important for Obama to get a stimulus bill passed quickly.  It is more important for him to appear to have a victory now so that he can have more victories later.  Then all those things that were cut from what we wanted have a better chance of being enacted.  We really don't need to have it all at once.  We really do need to have something immediately.

      I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

      by fayea on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:11:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fuck symbols. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Edgewater

        Can we please focus on the shit that matters instead of the shit that looks good for a change?

        The President didn't need ANY Republican votes for passage in the House, and yet we ended up with a compromised bill, sacrificed on the altar of all-mighty symbolic partisanship, and exactly ZERO Republican votes in exchange.

        If the President can't come up with three fucking votes in the Senate without giving away the farm, that what the fuck did we elect him for?

        Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

        by Orange County Liberal on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:47:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and recced for "dominatrix tools" (7+ / 0-)

    also for your discussion on the pros/cons of organizing v. activism.

  •  Screw bipartisanship (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, importer, keikekaze

    and nuke the fricking Senate ASAP.  It is now time for the nuclear option to be deployed as the Repubs are only interested in obstructionism and political games.

    •  What you suggest is the fastest path (16+ / 0-)

      ...to not getting to 60 votes for cloture on any major progressive legislation - a permanent successful filibuster.

      I understand why you feel that way, bit it leads to non-strategic trajectories and failure.

      •  The problem is buddy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        0wn, notquitedelilah

        that we are already there.

        ..to not getting to 60 votes for cloture on any major progressive legislation - a permanent successful filibuster.

        The nuclear option will take away the filibuster and reduce the anti-American traitor Repubs to spectator status.

        •  The what happens... (7+ / 0-)

          on the day that Republicans are back in charge?

          Unless you're going to go all Rovian and claim a permanent majority, I would be careful to remember that someday the Democrats may not have a large majority.

          This government is set up so the minority HAS to be heard.  It's one of the key foundations of Democracy.

          •  If Obama is successful (0+ / 0-)

            the Repubs will be as successful in the following years as they were in the 1930s-1940s, which is to say not very.

            Yup, it will be a "permanent" majority if we get the economy back on track with a transition to alternative fuels that get us off foreign oil, deliver universal health care, get labor unions more membership and power, and push through legalization of immigrants.  (unions and immigrants are more Democratic votes.)  It will be 15-20 years before Repubs come back into power, and when they do, they will be much more moderate.

            But we have to get this agenda passed and very soon.  I'm pretty confident that we will have a filibuster proof majority in 2011 with all the vacated Repub Senate seats, but it won't mean shit if we can't get our agenda moving now.

          •  There reason it's called the "nuclear" option (2+ / 0-)

            is because it's utterly destructive.  

            Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

            by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:06:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes it is time (0+ / 0-)

              to destroy the anti-American traitors in the Repug Party from destroying this country.  We dropped an atomic bomb in 1945 to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed, and we can drop a procedural bomb on the Senate to prevent the economy from going into a long-term Depression by not dealing with the issues surrounding it.

              •  So you'd destroy the village to save it? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Phoenix Woman, LynneK, The Field, abrauer

                Poor tactics, IMHO.

                Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:05:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The village on the Potomac needs destroying (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NoMoRepugs

                  It's a racket designed to keep the rich rich and the rest of us in our place.

                  Only fundamental change will fix things, but perhaps we'll need to see 15% unemployment and blood running in the gutters before that can happen happen.

                  I still have some hope that Obama can avert the coming disaster.  He won't stand a chance playing by village rules - the bipartisan logrolling, feather-bedding, nepotism and revolving doorism.

                  Nonpartisanship is about unity of purpose in building a better society for all the people.  It'll be a tough sell in today's America.  If anyone can do it, Obama can.

                  www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

                  by chuckvw on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:41:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  That's rather interesting (4+ / 0-)

                You first wrote this:

                But we have to get this agenda passed and very soon.  I'm pretty confident that we will have a filibuster proof majority in 2011 with all the vacated Repub Senate seats, but it won't mean shit if we can't get our agenda moving now.

                Then you write this:

                to destroy the anti-American traitors in the Repug Party from destroying this country.  We dropped an atomic bomb in 1945 to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed, and we can drop a procedural bomb on the Senate to prevent the economy from going into a long-term Depression by not dealing with the issues surrounding it.

                Even forgetting that there really isn't any guarantee this would go through (this would have a unanimous Republican caucus and a large number of moderate to conservative Democrats who would oppose it as well) it would kill any chance of getting anything else done this year, and that'll cost us in the 2010 midterms and it will embolden moderate Democrats to abandon Obama on other legislation. How's that for long-term thinking?

                •  What I meant is that (0+ / 0-)

                  we might have a filibuster-proof majority in 2011, but it may be too late to save the country.

                  I think there is a majority of the Senate who would agree to the nuclear option if the Repubs continue to filibuster legislation, if Obama twists their arm to do so.  And if it is done on the stimulus legislation (not on anything else) with the clear message being that the Repugs are traitors who are drowning the country for their own political gain, it can be sold to the public.

                  We would lose Nelson, Lieberman, Lincoln, Pryor, Landrieu, and Byrd on such a vote, but that still leaves us with 52 even without Franken.  Everyone else's arm can be twisted.

                  •  do you know what nuclear bombs do to people? (0+ / 0-)

                    Why don't you do some research on what those bombs to to human flesh and then reconsider whether it is the best idea to be using this metaphor in this discussion.

                    It's just seriously ugly, as if actual pain and horror inflicted by this country is is nothing more than a metaphor for you to use to make a point.

                    Where is your heart?

                    •  To be fair (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Michellebird, NoMoRepugs

                      NoMo did not coin the term "Nuclear option" to refer to removing the filibuster rule.  The Republicans themselves did.  I completely disagree with NoMo's perspective, but this one bit of nomenclature is not his/her responsibility.  Buying into the frame, on the other hand...

                      Senator Al Franken. read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                      by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:19:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was largely unaware of this language (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LynneK, NM Ward Chair

                        I have seen it around but on reflection I see I have tended to sort of pass over it. It seems ridiculous to me.

                        However, NoMo's initial comment brought it into very sharp relief for me -- got my attention through pain and horror.

                        I do feel that there's a lot to be learned from NoMo's stance, given that NoMO's response to my first horrified comment is this comment, which I am quoting here in its entirety:

                        Sorry that you are turned off

                        but I would have supported dropping the bombs in 1945 to end the war.  The Imperial Japanese establishment were stubborn blowhards who were willing to let all the Japanese people die of starvation before they would surrender in the name of "honor", and killing hundreds of thousands of American soldiers in the process.  

                        And today, the Repugs are the same kind of stubborn blowhards.

                        I repliedsuggesting that NoMo do a google search on the terms unconditional surrender hiroshima, and have not yet heard back from NoMo on that as of this writing.

                        My understanding of the history is that the real issue for the U.S. was not saving lives, but either securing "unconditional" surrender when the Japanese were willing to surrender except for one symbolic piece that would not have led to deaths, or (more likely) was that the U.S. government had a desire to test the bomb and saw Japan as a good test case that they could successfully sell to the people of the U.S. with some strategic lies.

                        Given all of this, I am feeling like the combination of this metaphor and stance on the actual bombing of Hiroshima and Nakasaki shows something important about where NoMo is coming from about the current situation shows. And not just NoMo, but quite likely it shows something larger about what is going on in the emotional responses from the left calling for "nuclear option"  in this current situation.

                        I just don't have the cognitive understanding of what that is at this point.

                        •  I completely agree (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Michellebird

                          about the reasons Truman dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  That decision is our nation's biggest shame, and a war crime of the highest order.

                          That said, the Rethuglicans created the language and framing for removing the filibuster rule, and even they didn't have the stomach to actually do it.  The threat was useful, but the action would have been disastrous.  What does that remind me of?  Nuclear weapons, ironically.

                          I haven't heard anybody besides NoMo calling for the use of the "Nuclear option," probably because it can't be done under the Senate rules.  Certainly no US Senator has been crazy enough to consider it publicly.

                          I think that people are scared to death that the Rethuglicans are going to prevent Obama from avoiding another Great Depression, which fuels the hyperemotionalism and calls for precipitous action.  

                          Senator Al Franken. Read it and weep, Rethuglicans!

                          by NM Ward Chair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:13:01 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  That would be a blatently partisan move (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LynneK

                    and the Republicans would stop all other legislation from happening and I would bet money that it would be the Democrats who paid a political price for it. Of course, this still pre-supposes that the votes are there for such a move, when I would still argue that the Democrats don't have the caucus members to hold it together.

                    This reminds me of Roosevelt's infamous court-packing that failed miserably (despite the fact that Democrats controlled something like 79 seats at the time). And what makes you think that we wouldn't lose other senators on that vote either, hmmm? Why would Baucus, who already has problems with the stimulus, be part of that? Or what about Tester who has to worry about re-election in a red state? Or Begich who has to worry about the same? Or what about Hagan who is still in a state that is more Republican than not? Or Mark Warner who is a self-styled moderate? Or what about Evan Bayh, who wanted to form his own little Blue-dog coalition in the senate? So even if you had Franken in you only have 47 votes, and that presumes that there aren't any liberals who just don't like the idea of the nuclear option in the senate. There is a very real chance that we lose a procedural move like that and if we did, then Obama (and the Democratic senate) would be completely useless for the next 6-7 years (presuming Obama gets re-elected).

              •  Forgive me for not aligning with someone (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LynneK, The Field, NM Ward Chair, Caerus

                who rationalizes America's biggest war crime as good strategy.

                You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

                by abrauer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:35:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I cannot believe you said that. Disgusting! (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LynneK, The Field, NM Ward Chair, Caerus

                We dropped an atomic bomb in 1945 to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed, and we can drop a procedural bomb on the Senate to prevent the economy from going into a long-term Depression by not dealing with the issues surrounding it.

                The sheer scope of the pain and horror and suffering caused by the US's bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki IMO merit so much more humility and respect than your comment shows.

                That was one ugly ugly heartless sick and twisted comment, IMO.

                Wow. I feel like my soul needs a shower or something after reading that.

                •  Sorry that you are turned off (0+ / 0-)

                  but I would have supported dropping the bombs in 1945 to end the war.  The Imperial Japanese establishment were stubborn blowhards who were willing to let all the Japanese people die of starvation before they would surrender in the name of "honor", and killing hundreds of thousands of American soldiers in the process.  

                  And today, the Repugs are the same kind of stubborn blowhards.

                  •  here's a google search assignment for you (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LynneK, NM Ward Chair

                    Google these terms: unconditional surrender hiroshima

                    Start reading.

                    Here are a few of the first links that come up:

                    Was Hiroshima Necessary?

                    The Hiroshima Myth

                    The Bombs of August

                    That third link is an essay written by historian Howard Zinn and includes this excerpt:

                    In fact, the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not forestall an invasion of Japan because no invasion was necessary. The Japanese were on the verge of surrender, and American military leaders knew that. General Eisenhower, briefed by Secretary of War Henry Stimson on the imminent use of the bomb, told him that "Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary."

                    After the bombing, Admiral William D. Leary, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the atomic bomb "a barbarous weapon," also noting that: "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."

                    The Japanese had begun to move to end the war after the U.S. victory on Okinawa, in May of 1945, in the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. After the middle of June, six members of the Japanese Supreme War Council authorized Foreign Minister Togo to approach the Soviet Union, which was not at war with Japan, to mediate an end to the war "if possible by September."

                    Togo sent Ambassador Sato to Moscow to feel out the possibility of a negotiated surrender. On July 13, four days before Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met in Potsdam to prepare for the end of the war (Germany had surrendered two months earlier), Togo sent a telegram to Sato: "Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace. It is his Majesty's heart's desire to see the swift termination of the war."

                    The United States knew about that telegram because it had broken the Japanese code early in the war. American officials knew also that the Japanese resistance to unconditional surrender was because they had one condition enormously important to them: the retention of the Emperor as symbolic leader. Former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew and others who knew something about Japanese society had suggested that allowing Japan to keep its Emperor would save countless lives by bringing an early end to the war.

                    Yet Truman would not relent, and the Potsdam conference agreed to insist on "unconditional surrender." This ensured that the bombs would fall on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                    It seems that the United States government was determined to drop those bombs.

                    But I would suggest you do your own research. Check out the items that come up on that google search and assess for yourself what you would have supported.

                  •  disgusting (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LynneK

                    and ignorant. do us all a favor and shut up about this!

                    It was only a couple of flipper babies!

                    by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:45:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  you know what happens??? (0+ / 0-)

            the same god damn shit they would do anyways!

            It was only a couple of flipper babies!

            by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:42:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You only hear the nuclear option invoked when (9+ / 0-)

      the republicans control the senate. Because they understand bare knuckle politics, something I'd advise the diarist to look into.

  •  I think of bi-partisanship like this (6+ / 0-)

    how easy would it be to knock out the guy that punched you in the face as opposed to walking away from him? If you knock him out, you both may end up in jail, of you walk away and press charges, only he will :o)

    I think I mixed that up, it sounded better in my head, but I think you know what I was getting at :o)

    You know, some people are like slinkies, they're good for nothin'! But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

    by Muzikal203 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:42:24 AM PST

    •  I used a similar analogy in another thread (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, CParis, Mad Kossack, nhDave, Edgewater

      but with a different point, yesterday:

      "I think Obama and his team are up against
      something that it will take deep re-thinking and re-tooling for them to be able to beat:  their own sense of fair play.

      Obama and his campaign team were the smartest, leanest, most on-message, creative group during the campaign season and they made it possible for the best man to win the election.

      But there's something about Americans that either they have underestimated or forgotten:  Americans love an underdog who wins; but they have no respect for a guy who doesn't fight back when a bully shoves him.

      Obama had his underdog winning moment.  Now he's got to fight back and bloody the nose of the bully.  IMMEDIATELY."  

      by concernedamerican on Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 06:37:03 PM PST

      •  What's so impressive about Obama (16+ / 0-)

        and I felt this from early in the primaries, is that he's willing to look like he's losing in order to win.  I don't think we should be fooled by the mild demeanor.  This guy is a serious fighter, and is fighting for what he knows Americans both want and need.  

        It takes a very strong person to allow the opponent to underestimate him.  But it's pretty effective.  I'll put my money on Obama winning a LOT of these contests.

        •  what I don't understand is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LynneK, kafkananda, political junquie

          why after all the evidence that this pattern happens over and over and his approach turns out to be a success even amidst the yelling and screaming .... why after all this evidence people are still doing the same kinds of things they did before as if this pattern does not exist, is not visible toanyone watching, etc.

          he's willing to look like he's losing in order to win.  I don't think we should be fooled by the mild demeanor.  This guy is a serious fighter, and is fighting for what he knows Americans both want and need.  

          It takes a very strong person to allow the opponent to underestimate him.  But it's pretty effective.  I'll put my money on Obama winning a LOT of these contests.

          I agree. He showed this over and over from early in the primaries on down the line. Hard to miss if you're watching what is actually going on, IMO.

        •  I've said this before... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          political junquie

          Obama is playing chess while the Republicans are playing checkers. Personally, I feel that President Obama is doing exactly what he should be doing...making it appear that he is willing to compromise and give the Republicans some of what they want, so that when they scream "That's not fair!" (as they are wont to do whenever they only get a piece of the cake instead of the whole cake,) it is they who end up looking like spoiled children in the eyes of the public.

          "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

          by LynneK on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:59:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have seen just about nobody (16+ / 0-)

    promoting "partisanship."

    I have instead seen people saying that pro-actively wooing Republicans is at best a waste of time.

  •  Obama's approval ratings are great... (3+ / 0-)

    so people shouldn't fucking worry about it.

  •  "Bipartisanship" is a code word (11+ / 0-)

    for giving the Republicans 95% of what they want and getting 5% of what you want in return. If you're lucky. That's why people reflexively oppose it. On the other hand, trying to split the Republican minority and get a few of the less rabid members on the Republican side voting along with the Democrats could be a very viable tactic, but some other term needs to be used to describe it. Maybe "nonpartisan" (I think "postpartisan" would have too many bizarro academic theorist associations).

    The Republicans are in a very weak position, if only we stop deferring to them. Peeling off a few of the saner Republicans in Congress from the lockstep voting that they've demonstrated so far could be good for both us and them, and would highlight the unreasonableness of the remaining fanatics. But it doesn't involve treating the Republicans overall as disinterested partners in fixing the nation's problems—in fact that approach strengthens their image and weakens our leverage, as well as being counter to what most voters recognize as the reality of the situation at this point.

    •  it's date rape of the Democrats, is what it is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      importer, Minerva, esquimaux, Mad Kossack
    •  I notice that the percentage of "tax cuts" is (7+ / 0-)

      creeping up every time I see some stats flashed on the TV.

      Those would be more tax cuts for the rich and famous and for the corporations - not the average working guy who really needs them.

      Since the House Republicans refused to bend at all on this deal, and the Senate is only willing to give token help, I say, slash out all the tax cuts that aren't aimed directly at the most needy and let the Republicans have a freakin' cow.  Let them go ahead and filibuster, not the "we're going to filibuster" threat that Harry the weak sister puts up with.  MAKE THEM FILIBUSTER!  Let the SOB's stand up there day and night crying their asses off about this spending bill while the unemployment rate and the rest of the stats just keep getting worse.  

      Reid and Pelosi are the enemy here.  Nancy allowed the bill to leave the house with poison pills for the Republicans to seize on.  She handed them the big stick so they could beat this bill like a rented mule.  THANKS, NANCY.  STAND UP AND TAKE A BOW.  

      Obama doesn't have to worry as much about the Republicans, he needs to worry about the stupid, myopic Democrats that are stabbing him in the back on behalf of their corporate buddies.  

      •  I automatically rec anyone who (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, LynneK

        states that we should make the Republicans actually filibuster, rather than getting what they want from just threatening to filibuster.

        Call their bluff, that's all I ask for.

        It's not that hard.

        Bush repealed Godwin's Law with a Signing Statement.

        by Mad Kossack on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:21:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Has it occurred to you that Obama is using the (6+ / 0-)

      code word to achieve different ends?

      •  different ends? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        importer, 0wn, Mad Kossack, Edgewater

        diluting the package to where it's now 42% tax cuts all for the goal of getting three Republican votes?

        •  42% equals 84% of what Rush (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          itsbenj, Edgewater

          Limpballs was asking for.

          I'm so proud of our Senate leadership for their valiant efforts so far.

          A couple of more days and we can give Rush everything he wants, if only we just try a little harder.

          Bush repealed Godwin's Law with a Signing Statement.

          by Mad Kossack on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:23:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  He secretely wanted Gregg at Commerce? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, 0wn

        Can't wait to hear about Gregg's careful oversight of the 2010 census...

        We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

        by Minerva on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:28:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe Obama is that good a poker player... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, The Field, NM Ward Chair, Anne933

        He has made all the right moves, he has courted and cajoled and turned the other cheek while these traitors posture and cry foul, and he will get a payoff in public opinion for his efforts. However, if he doesn't get this bill thru without a total cave to the Republicans for their couple votes, he is going to loose considerable capital in the eyes of those who follow this stuff.

        The problem is, while this damce is going on, the Republicans are getting a microphone to continue to tear down this stimulus bill.  They pretend they want to "help" while they are betting on public opinion turning against the bill.  They would like nothing better to than to give Obama the thinnest margin possible to pass this while extorting the maximum in goodies for their corporate masters.  

        •  As usual the MSM is all too happy to help... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, LynneK

          ... The Republicans by giving them that microphone:

          "...on the debate over the economic recovery package...The media have been aiding (Republican) efforts. In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that the five cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week. In total, from 6 AM on Monday to 4 PM on Wednesday, the networks have hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 24 times.

          There's that damn "liberal" media again - helping the Republicans.

          This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

          by Snud on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:11:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's possible (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, The Field

        that he's using it to try to demonstrate that the Republicans themselves are against that very thing, to help them paint themselves into a corner by being perceived as totally unreasonable.

        The danger is when you use a term that most people understand to mean one thing for something different, people don't catch on to your novel interpretation. So using it in the sense I just described will lead people to expect that Obama will make major, major compromises to get some Republicans to vote his way. I think he's willing to make some compromises, but not the kind of major ones that Democrats have traditionally made when in post-'80s bipartisan mode. So that may dilute the effect of his gesture. And it's an expensive point to make anyway, since it gives the Republicans an issue to drag out in the media and do their usual whining about—far better for Obama to cut their time at the megaphone short and be seen as moving on effectively without them. (Assuming that the stimulus bill actually will be effective.)

  •  Grassley for comedian of the year - just on cspan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, Elise, Snud

    How ridiculous can the Republicans get?  Grassley is using his testimony time on the stimulus package on the following pressing issue:
    An employee at the National Science Foundation was caught spending 20% of his time viewing pornography on an NSF computer.
    This employee was fired, but Grassley insists the culture of the NSF must change.  He has introducted an amendment to the appropriations committee specifying that the budget of the NSF be suspended until the NSF director proves to Congress that the NSF is not viewing pornography.  Further, there needs to be a plan and legal oversight to make sure that pornography is not going on at the NSF.
    Grassley opposes granting stimulus funds to the NSF because of this "issue."
    Go Grassley, for having identified the root of immorality and exploitation requiring prime time Senate attention.

    •  He's insane. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snud, LynneK

      The bill includes flood relief for Iowa - I would LOVE to see him filibuster it in its final version. It will be easier to beat him in 2010 if he filibusters.

    •  Magicians call that "redirection" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK, abrauer

      Nothing better than the word "pornography" to distract his right-wing, ADHD constituency. I'm pretty sure he has some ulterior motive apart from the porn - Republicans in general being very anti-science.  

      If a soldier was caught spending 20% of his time watching porn would Grassley insist the "culture" of the military must change? Ha-ha.

      Grassley sure is a tool.

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:02:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Will you marry me? eom (13+ / 0-)

    Those of us who are not screaming that Obama is "weak" are starting to push back. Good. I'm in no mood to find another more rational blog.

  •  Yet again...spot on. Also: (7+ / 0-)

    I still think you should cross-post your writings on Activist vs. Organizer.

    There's a lot of people on here that may WANT to be on the Organizer side, but don't fully realize the differences.  The way you laid it out (while disparaging activism more than I agree with) was, on a whole, something that may help gear many to organizer side of the fence.

    I know it did me.

    ps - if you feel like doing some more writing on HOW to organize, that would be well appreciated as well.  I just picked up Rules for Radicals and Taking on the System...but the more info the better!

  •  Thanks for posting! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brit, Dragon5616
  •  I think Nate is right. Obama got this deal (13+ / 0-)

    by taking a more partisan tone.  I would also note that Bush got things his way with fewer numbers in the last 2 years because of his partisan tone.

    Bipartisanship hasn't worked in the last 2 decades for two reasons.  

    First, the GOP cannot be taken seriously as a loyal opposition. They are not interested in the common good.  They are a subversive party whose primary purpose is to undermine the power of the Federal government to set national policy and to undermine the pluralist and secularist principles embedded in the US Constitution.  They want to use the Federal government to fund the military, to punish their political enemies, and as a clearing house to fund their friends (that's why they love tax cuts so much).  

    Second, the US Senate cannot be taken seriously as an institution that is truly committed to governing this country.  Because of the filibuster rule, and the Democrats unwillingness to interpret the Senate rules to narrow its applicability, the Senate is effectively held hostage by GOP ideologues.  Most Senators spend most of their time trying to cover their asses, and do not truly care about governing.  

    Senate Democrats over the past 20 years have been too concerned with preserving some sense of national unity and they give in on substance to a party that does not care about the common good.  The GOP, being the subversive revolutionaries that they are, understands that the rules of the Senate allow their lock-step opposition to reason to magnify their power in excess of their true numbers.

    That's why Nate is right.  The reason a deal was cut was because the Democrats unmercifully defeated every single GOP amendment and did not feel any political pressure to cave.  The opportunists (not moderates) saw that the only place to cut a deal was with the White House. Obama then raised the stakes about the state of the economy, and suddenly Collins, Snowe and Specter realized that this would be one of those litmus test votes that the people back home would judge them on.  A true moderate would have to cut a deal with the new President who is standing firm and has popular support behind him.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:12:54 PM PST

    •  that's not really an analysis of the numbers (4+ / 0-)

      that's belief in Obama's sharper tone.

      You might be right, and Nate might be right, mind you. ;-)

      But I do think we'll have a better idea of what's going on in the numbers in a week or two.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:24:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As far as the numbers go, the drop was due (0+ / 0-)

        to the perception of nothing getting done in DC while the country and Obama was held partly to blame because his job is to get things done, and that drop was aided by GOP efforts to criticize the 'spending' in the bill.  Obama's team was late to respond.

        The result is that Obama's numbers will go up at the end of next week.  The big loser was John McCain.  He sounded like his cranky old sanctimonious self, and lost.  He had at least 3 or 4 amendments that went down to stinging defeat.  It should tell him something when everyone in the Senate calls him a great guy to his face and then slaps him down when voting time comes.  It's time for him to retire.

        Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

        by khyber900 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:30:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you about McCain and Graham and the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, notquitedelilah

          Dr NO faction.

          As far as the numbers go, it may just be statistical noise. Let's see what next week brings.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:32:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bipartisianship doesn't work, at least (9+ / 0-)

    Not with this current bunch of thugs. If Obama continues to play that tune he'll go down real fast. Remember most of the rethugs left in the house are the real right wingers.

    •  I just love all those people coming in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      0wn

      and telling Al he's wrong. Karma's funny.

      •  Funny, indeed (15+ / 0-)

        Recommended by: buffalo soldier, Jeff Simpson, byteb, John Campanelli, MarkInSanFran, concernedamerican, anotherCt Dem, AZDem, Sophie Amrain, ybruti, jj32, valadon, bananyo, Elise, Buffalo Girl, Land of Enchantment, golden star, Nightprowlkitty, buhdydharma, Irishkorean, MBNYC, TayTay, JML9999, Empower Ink, VA Breeze, ScottyUrb, Its any one guess, pamelabrown, evora, a night owl, pileta, Neon Vincent, followyourbliss, Kaaha, obscuresportsquarterly, hyper, allep10, The BBQ Chicken Madness, Muzikal203, ohmyheck, Dragon5616, carmenjones, Tricky, Sebastian likes to rattle cages, Bull Schmitt, political junquie, jamtown, Pebbles, robertacker13, My mom is my hero, Racht, Anne933, abrauer, Gracian, BlueUU, zapus

        •  oooooh! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peraspera, 0wn, dclawyer06, Edgewater

          A fun game to play! Ok, here's mine :-)

          Chris Bowers, RichM, boydog, Terri, coral, northsylvania, Cowalker, Chi, mbc, Ben P, copymark, Adam B, DelRPCV, Maxlongstreet, TaraIst, mcjoan, mikeb42, NevDem, gaspare, TrueBlueMajority, Tuffy, Unstable Isotope, existenz, BigOkie, RunawayRose, DebtorsPrison, MikeHickerson, tnichlsn, bosdcla14, Emerson, karlpk, dengre, Hummingbird, steviemo, billlaurelMD, democat, norabb, rhubarb, dsb, polecat, terminal3, figdish, cosmicrob, blksista, marjo, lzachary, musicsleuth, freespeech, exNYinTX, jancw, Arthur Dent, redtravelmaster, Ruth in OR, Vitarai, RubDMC, undersiege, eyeswideopen, sbwoodside, tyler93023, concernedamerican, landrew, mentaldebris, bonddad, susakinovember, DAVE DIAL, MD patriot, Loquatrix, ask, macleme, highacidity, KMc, stevetat, Cool Blue Reason, boilerman10, mkfarkus, roses, lorikay4, michelle, Arun, javelina, Casey, denig, Ignacio Magaloni, luku, BruinKid, itskevin, jalbert, Nate Roberts, Ohiocrat, Random Excess, OutOfManyOne, lulusbackintown, NMRed, Braindead, 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Haf2Read, vegjeannie, ShowMeMoBlue, The Rational Hatter

      •  Why is it so hard to understand? Obama looks so (14+ / 0-)

        reasonable and bipartisan, and most Republicans still dump shit on him. How does this look in the eyes of not completely politicised people (i.e. the majority of the population)? They will respect his outreach and think the rabid Republicans somewhat nutty. So Obama nibbles at the Republican base. That is cool. Another cool thing is that he gets a handful moderate votes, which he needs to get the laws thru senate.
        It is a double win situation.

        •  Exactly. I wrote a comment above on how this (5+ / 0-)

          is playing out with my RINO husband, a social moderate who clings to his party label despite not voting for a Republican president since Bush I.

          For the first time, he is talking about changing affiliation.

        •  yes exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peraspera, LynneK

          I live in small town America that has been seriously influenced by Limbaugh.  I have been surprised at the conversations I am hearing about how hard Obama is trying and the level of disgust that the Republicans are not returning the favor. He is making a lot of points out here.

          I am not sure the bi-partisan tone is good for much in D.C. but its working in Obama's favor out here.

      •  Sort of like your diaries? (17+ / 0-)

        Which never include any sources or links or even sound viable arguments? The ones that are based solely on your desire to whip up anger and irrational thinking? Where you just make shit up most of the time?

        Yeah - spare us.

      •  For the love of god. (6+ / 0-)

        Can you stop with this utter, asinine, childish, thread jacking, attention getting bullshit?

        Are you now going to post this garbage in all of Al's diaries?
        Christ - people need to to stop posting on DK seven days a week.
        This is what happens.

        I just love all those people coming in and telling Al he's wrong. Karma's funny.

        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

        by Christin on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:46:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No, bipartisanship is stupid... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, keikekaze, RageKage

    ...and partisanship is essential to getting anything done, if the opposition party has completely surrendered any pretense to reason and responsibility.

    Which isn't to say you can't pretend - which is exactly what Reagan did.

    It looked for a lot of the last two weeks like Obama remembered the Reagan show, but hadn't figured out it was all just an act - a con played on weak-minded schmucks.

    We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

    by Minerva on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:24:59 PM PST

    •  Actually, No (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      Reagan went all alpha-male (Thatcher knew how to do this too) on the Dems and put the fear of god into them (and then cut deals behind the scenes, but not with cup in hand in public like Obama ended up doing for about 48 hours [with an assist from Tom Daschle]).

      I wish Obama had studied Reagan's first few months in office more. As far as political astuteness and the ability to control the narrative, Reagan's early months in office were only a notch below Roosevelt's. Obama suffers in comparison to both of them right now.

      •  Maggie was much better than Ronnie at (0+ / 0-)

        stomping on the obnoxious peasants!  the good old my way or the highway trick.   Good thinking, let's bring that back.  It's only been gone two weeks, we miss it already.

        •  Try Reading My Comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          Rather than emoting at the sight of a name you don't like.

          I'm talking about political effectiveness, not policy. FDR, Reagan, and Thatcher imposed their political will on the political landscape, using their electoral policies to redraw the political map.

          Modern-day Dems could learn a great deal from their technique.

          •  excuse me, just making a joke. (0+ / 0-)

            obviously inapropriate time to have a sense of humour.  To me, as a Brit/Yank both of the names are jokes and the only appropriate response is to laugh or sneer.  if you want me to take them seriously as a role model, have another think.

            Hitler was also pretty effective, so was Stalin, so was Mao, so was Pol Pot, there are numerous example of leaders who were most effective in using their electoral politices to re-draw the political map.

            Sorry. Didn'yt mean to raise anyone's blood pressure.

            •  Juvenile Comparisons, i.e. Godwin's Law n/t (0+ / 0-)
              •  for those of us born in the early 30's in (0+ / 0-)

                Europe, that you simplistically refer to as Godwin's law and a juvenile comparison, is actually a major point of reference.

                Im am sure you have your own seminal points of reference in your country of birth. Sorry, its a generational and cultural thing.

                •  No, It's An Intellectual Thing (0+ / 0-)

                  Comparing Reagan and Thatcher (and FDR) and their abilities to manipulate the politics of their day with mass murder is simply stupid and juvenile and a clear indication of intellectual shallowness.

                  Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. Thatcher closed the coal mines. Stalin murdered 40 million peasants. Your inability to see the difference has nothing to do with your country of birth (which you seem awfully hung up on in these comments, by the way).

                  Age, without thought, does not bring wisdom.

                  •  From what I personally recall in my youth (0+ / 0-)

                    growing up in Europe Hitler was most effective in inposing his political philosophy on the electorate of Germany. He even suceeded to a degree in Great Britain, where adherents of fascism such as Oswald Mosely and appeasement in the form of Neville Chamberlain almost swung rhe pendulum and we would be speaking German today.

                    Most people are imprinted with the template of their upbringing and view other nations political systems through a different prism, and it is true, I have referenced this observation in another debate with a fellow countryperson in these comments today.

                    In addition, I would agree age does not confer wisdom, but youth does not guarantee knowledge either and i believe it is true that many high school srudents in America don't even know who the persons we have mentioned, ie. Hitler, Mao, Stalin etc even are.

                    Your comparions are intellectually dishonest. Reagan did a great deal more damage to America's reputation globally than fire the air traffic controllers and Thatcher changed the entire face of British politics for a long time.  The two actions you cite merely reflect their ruthlessness and willingness to maintain control by any means necessary.  I have no doubt that either of them had the ability to  do what both Mao and Stalin did had they had the means and opportunity.

  •  I'm sorry but the Dems are weak. And to prove it (16+ / 0-)

    you just have to look at what's happening in the senate.

    The dems would never have been able to stall and obfuscate and damage such a popular Bill from such a popular republican president.

    Look I'm not American, I'm really only here for the love of politics. my personal interests are not at stake. However, what I have seen go on in the past week or so has been astounding.

    Astounding weakness and disorganization on the part of the dems and surprising cunning and unity on the part of the rethugs.

    Such is the case diarist and no amount of Rah Rahring can change my mind.

    The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

    by notquitedelilah on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:41:37 PM PST

    •  Well let's see... (11+ / 0-)

      In 18 days those weak Dems have managed to strengthen equal pay for women, give millions more kids healthcare, outlaw torture, start closing Guantanamo, and are days away from passing the largest jobs bill in history.

      Yeah, those Rethugs are pretty cunning.

      "Obama is just too smart to be stupid." --NYmind

      by Dragon5616 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:23:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  All of which were done without significant (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hester, slinkerwink, 0wn, Dragon5616

        battle from the rethugs and at least 2 of those were by executive order.
        Also, about outlawing torture, did you see Panetta's confirmation hearing.

        Oh, and why is Solis not confirmed yet?

        The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

        by notquitedelilah on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:31:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As to your questions: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, Brit, notquitedelilah
          1. Panetta said we weren't going to outlaw torture? If you're talking about prosecution of CIA agents, I am much more concerned with prosecuting those that ordered it and justified it.
          1. She will be.

          "Obama is just too smart to be stupid." --NYmind

          by Dragon5616 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:43:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He retracted his earlier statement in which (5+ / 0-)

            he said that rendition included torture by proxi. He contradicted solid evidence that torture is part of CIA rendition tactics. And he promised not to prosecute CIA agents. And as anyone who works in law enforcement knows,  the only way to capture the head of an organized crime unit is to go after the foot soldiers first.

            How can you justify this?

            As for Solis, the fact that they've been able to hold her confirmation to such a crucial post in this economy, causing not a small amount discomfort to many in labour, is not a small thing.

            It would not have happened to the repubs were the dems were in opposition. They would have been all over the airwaves and the print media accusing dems of obstructionism, un-amercanism, callousness, and bloody minded partisanship ( very much as they're doing now actually ), and the dems would have buckled under the pressure, as we  have seen them do so many times before.

            This time though, this time there are no excuses. They are in a stronger posiiton than they have ever been, with a president whose popularity exceeds that of Brad Pitt! And not just here but all over the world. There is no excuse for not holding their ground. For if they don't do it now, situated as they are, they never will.

            The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

            by notquitedelilah on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:06:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  if you are not American maybe you just are not (0+ / 0-)

      used to the way democracy works?

      •  Ofcourse, that's because democracy only exists (5+ / 0-)

        in the good old US OF A right?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I'm British by the way, you hypocritically superior bigot.

        The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

        by notquitedelilah on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:29:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

          me too! at least born and bred. I have dual citizenship.  However, now I understand.

          •  Oh you do, do you? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            itsbenj, slinkerwink, pletzs, Brit

            My argument is understandable because I'm British? I'm so relieved.
            So had I been from Zimbabwe you would have discounted my argument as ignorant due to the stamp on my passport?!!!

            You should be ashamed of yourself. I'm certainly ashamed of you.

            The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

            by notquitedelilah on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:42:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  would you please stop putting words in my (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LynneK, abrauer

              mouth and making unfounded allegations.

              My observation as one who came to America in the late 50's and has all my birth family still living in England or other parts of Europe, is that many, if not most Brits, absolutely do NOT understand the American political system in the democratic sense, or how it works. As Britain operates on a parliamentary system and America operates as a Republic, I hesitate to describe the proportional representation as it is applied here, because that will start another round of argy bargy.  Anyway if they watch Prime Minister's Question Time Americans would certainly understand a degree of incivility that exists on the public square over there.

              BFirst you call me a hypocritical bigot, then by citing Zimbabwe you infer I am also a racist.  I am not discounting your arguments, i just don't agree with much you say, and you obviously don't approve of anything i say, so let's just agree to disagree instead of starting WW3.

              Time to inject a little Monty Python. Dennis the Obnoxious Peasant, the Fight at The Bridge, Spanish Inquisition, take your pick.

        •  Whatever happened to liberal progressive values? (3+ / 0-)

          It's a sad day on a liberal blog when you get told, because you're not American

          You are not used to the way democracy works

          When people talk about defending liberal progressive values, why do they have to do it in such an illiberal reactionary way?

          Moose Juice: Debate without Hate

          by Brit on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:51:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brit, notquitedelilah

        Americans do not like to think of themselves as aggressors, but raw aggression is what took place in Iraq. - John Prados

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:03:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nonpartisanship (6+ / 0-)

    I'm entirely fed up with the term "Bipartisanship" because while in some cases it means that one group is trying to work with another, in many cases it means that people are allowing another party to control too much of the agenda.  

    What I mean when I say nonpartisanship is simply this:

    These people are our ELECTED officials, no matter which party they came from, they should be going to the people as our REPRESENTATIVES and figuring out what exactly WE want from this stimulus bill.  Screw political ideology, this is the biggest problem with our political leaders today.  

    They forgot that they are not just supposed to represent a certain party, they are supposed to represent their constituents.  

    While I appreciate the lengths with which the new administration is trying to foster an environment of cooperation between the legislative branch and the executive, I disagree with removing key parts of legislation in order to make another political party feel like they are part of the "team".

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

    by deviant24x on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:51:54 PM PST

  •  Need to talk to republicans in Congress (5+ / 0-)

    Someone needs to talk to republicans in Congress about "bipartisanship". IMO their definition is "The other side does every single thing just like I want".  That's the way it is now and that's the way it's always been, no matter who is POTUS.  As long as they have that attitude, nothing in that party will ever change.  The only way things change if democrats increase their margin.

  •  Obama's problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mentaldebris, Edgewater

    in this case wasn't bipartisanship per se but the belief that world begins and ends with bipartisanship. While Republican surrogates were attacking Obama's plan, Democratic surrogates were forced to sing praise of bipartisanship and it nearly killed the stimulus bill. Hopefully, he will learn the right lessons out of this whole episode because in the end, he seems to have wasted some of his political capitol ironically on bipartisanship. That's probably a first for any President in American history

  •  WOW #s to Support CW#4567, and Ignore 40 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, slinkerwink, Edgewater

    years of bottom 40% and 80% getting treated like fucking serfs by all the top ...

    - top fascists of the right wing who WANT this country to be a good ol normal scavenger subsistence economy, (see most of the world between Tijuana & The Straits of Magellen, Capetown Tokyo and London. )

    - top of the politically clueless Dems and politically incompetent Dems who are too fucking stupid to know that TAX CUTS don't do shit for us bottom 80++ per centers ... we need cash and jobs today, not NEXT year when we file our fucking taxes.

    - top of the sold out Dems who, I wish, would just join the other side and they could be sold-out centrists at 17 degrees from 0 degrees FAR RIGHT.

    obama's and congresses' numbers will go down cuz us bottom 80%++ know we're getting fucking lied to again !!?

    (plug that into some differential equation or regression analysis packet!)

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:28:06 PM PST

  •  Sooo... (10+ / 0-)

    Don't freak out but, even though I have no idea who you are, based on this diary alone I think I love you.

    All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals. - H. Simpson

    by henna218 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:33:52 PM PST

  •  Cutoff his fingers (0+ / 0-)

    Personally? These miserable fucks would get off their collective asses and stop waving their hands if there was potential dismemberment involved.

    We might consider threatening another appendage.

    I'm renting knives. Get in line.

    Dear Senator Reid, Politics is war. Please put away the spitballs.

    by SecondComing on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:38:19 PM PST

  •  I was becoming frustrated this week (8+ / 0-)

    watching Republicans frame the bill and the debate, and thought Obama was being too slow to respond, and thought this weekend's house parties were too little, too late.

    But now I see they were timed exactly right, and Obama's Monday press conference and his road trip are aimed at influencing the final version of the bill which emerges from the conference committee.

    You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

    by abrauer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:58:48 PM PST

  •  Interesting website re: civility and politics: (0+ / 0-)
  •  some R's have been saying (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, Pacific Blue, tammanycall

    that making buildings more energy efficient is a waste of money.
    that's completely insane.

    they aren't serious about improving things.

  •  No, but what is dumb IS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, slinkerwink, keikekaze

    Putting stupid/bad ideas in bills in the name of bi-partisanship.

    Or taking good/wise ideas out of a bill in the name of bi-partisanship.

    In this example: putting in too much in tax cuts (42% of the package, including the AMT provisions for the wealthy) and taking out good ideas (infrastructure, mass transit, extending food stamps, rebuilding the grid, etc).

    As Obama says: its stupid to disregard a good idea just because of where it came from. But it is just as dumb to include a bad idea because of where it came from. The former is partisan stupidity, the latter is bipartisan stupidity. Either way, it's stupidity.

    This whole, strong/weak, partisan/bi-partisan discussion missed the point entirely. The question isn't whether something is strong or weak or partisan or bi-partisan, but whether is is smart or dumb, wise or unwise.

    And the fact is, this stimulus bill, as presently constructed, is unwise.

  •  Those tire rims and anthrax? Delectable. (5+ / 0-)

    The problem with this diary is the focus on opinion polls, and not on what's actually happening in Congress.

    Mistaking opinion polls for reality? Weak and dumb as well.

    Yes, a good deal of the public has internalized the "plague on both your houses" narrative that infects the corporate press.  And Obama is benefiting from that narrative in the opinion polls.

    But he's getting raped in Congress.  And the results of this will show up in the real economy and the real world.

    And ultimately, in the polls as well unless he gets religion on this.  John Cole is right here:

    I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:50:52 PM PST

  •  Obama's mistake (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean, Edgewater

    Obama's mistake isn't that he reached out to Republicans, met with Republicans, or invited Republicans to his Superbowl party.  Obama's mistake was announcing or even expecting any results from these overtures so quickly.  When Obama said that he wanted 80 votes in the Senate for his stimulus package and that expected he would get bipartisan support he allowed the Republicans to make him responsible for their behavior.  This was a big mistake and it cost him dearly in the PR wars.

    Obama should have said, "I've reached out to the Republicans. I've invited them to give their ideas.  I said we will listen but it is up to them to decide whether they want to be players or stand on the sidelines as we move to govern this nation. The hand is extended now they can decide whether they want to clench their fists or open their hands.  It's up to them.  We're going to do what is necessary for the American people."

    Obama is now getting tough but he has to break his bi-partisan demeanor to do it.  This now becomes fodder for new criticism from Republicans and the media. However, right now, tough is going to work better than what he was doing because he weakened himself by being too accomodating and actually predicting results.

    It's a rookie mistake but Obama is smart and a quick learner and if the stimulus package gets through all of this will be forgotten. Hopefully, he'll learn from the stumble and recover and come back as even a stronger leader next time.  

    Man is not a rational animal. Man is a rationalization animal.

    by Pacific Blue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:52:52 PM PST

    •  I agree to the extent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Edgewater

      that I think making "bipartisanship" a major goal in this legislation was mistake. By stating that as your goal, you hand complete power to the other side. All they have to do to deprive you of a PR victory is to decline to play along with "bipartisanship". The power is all in their hands. The media can turn a victory (which passage of this bill is) into a defeat for Obama by saying it didn't meet his goal of "bipartisanship".

      The media are all saying Obama failed in "changing" Washington as he'd promised. He should make clear that the change he sought wasn't necessarily "bipartisanship" but an elevated discourse and a serious attempt to solve the nation's problems. Under that scenario, passage of this bill is a victory. It's up to Republicans whether they want to be part of that change or not.

      My making clear his goal is "seriousness" and not simply "bipartisanship", he takes the control out of the hands of Republicans.

      I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.

      by rennert on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:03:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do we want Obama to act like Bush? (6+ / 0-)

    What amazes me is that for so long we’ve been advocating for this kind of process. Our legislators should not be just a rubber stamp for the president but they should exercise their legislative rights. Granted most of the Republicans are bunch of insane ideologues and are using this to air their insane ideas instead of looking out for the benefits of their constituents. I think President Obama – a constitutional scholar – is not perturbed by this process of c-equal branches of the government fighting.  Anyone who is using this process to score political games will be exposed.

  •  All GOP governors support Obama..very bipartisan. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randy, Elise, The Field, Anne933, abrauer

    Obama seems to have a very solid bipartisan backing for his stimulus bill.

    The basic line up is:

    On the side of truth, justice and the American way:

    1. Obama administration.
    1. Republican governors
    1. Republican state legislators
    1. Democratic governors
    1. Democratic state legislators
    1. Democratic Congressmen.
    1. Democratic Senators.
    1. All professional economists.

    On the side of ignorance and failed economic ideology.

    1. Republican Congressmen
    1. Republican Senators.
    •  guess which count? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mentaldebris, Tuscany, Edgewater

      and guess which ones he chose to be 'bipartisan' with?

      its just crazy that not ONCE did he go on TV with a Republican governor, and have them back him up and call out the crazies in Congress. not once!!! that would be the immediately available 'bipartisan' option - and it would have been highly effective as well. sad.

      It was only a couple of flipper babies!

      by itsbenj on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:58:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Enough with the koolaid please (7+ / 0-)

    It's no crime pointing out where Obama failed. The stimulus are now close to what Limbaugh proposed and the rebups are still not voting and don't have to take responsibilty for it.

    The misstake was to start with a stimulus proposal that was so bipartisan and filled with tax-cuts that Obama was counting on 80 votes in the senate. The rethugs ofcourse smelled blood and the rest is history.

    Obama have been burned and have hopefully learned something.

    •  yes, we need to admit he screwed up (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, itsbenj, pletzs, Edgewater

      I'm getting a tad tired of this "that was Obama's plan all along!" school of thinking whenever it appears that he clearly messed up.  Obama will be the first to admit he's not an all-knowing being incapable of screwing up.  Obama clearly put himself in a weak starting position by trying to achieve a very unrealistic bipartisan stimulus bill.  Republicans, particularly the fossilized ones lurking around in Congress right now, don't respond to olive branches or kumbaya.  Obama should never have tried to kiss up to the Repugs so much; they clearly smelled blood, as you say.  And I don't think the American public wants Obama to play kissy-poo with the Repugs either.  They want him to rough them up and bring some real change to DC.

      •  re: (0+ / 0-)

        They want him to rough them up and bring some real change to DC.

        I don't think they want him to rough them up per se, I just think they want him to prove that he can make government work for the people who elected him.  If roughing up obstructive repubs and Blue Dog Dems is what it takes to bring that change, so be it.

        Because, frankly, I didn't see a bunch of signs at those rallies touting "Bipartisanship we can believe in". He needs to get back on the change wagon (and it looks like he may very well be doing that next week) and he needs to sell it -- even if it means trashing this abomination of a stimulus bill that will sink his poll numbers quick when the people who voted for him realize they they are not the main beneficiaries.

        All because the idiot status quo repubs and weak-ass Dems obviously don't know shit about the misery out here beyond the bubble. Obama was too busy trying to court the wrong people (what a waste of time that was) instead of courting the public to make this thing work in the best way possible for the country.  Not work for the bitter repubs, not make it work for the lazy status quo seekers, but make it work for the people who voted for him to make it work.

        Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist.-George Carlin

        by mentaldebris on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:14:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Grover Norquist nailed it (4+ / 0-)

    broken clock right twice a day and all that:

    "Bipartisanship" is just another word for "date rape".

    -Grover Norquist

    Obama would have gotten a better bill with a better chance of stimulating the economy if he'd aimed for the 2-3 GOP senators he needed.  Now he's stuck with a mediocre bill, the GOP and corporate media are howling about him not being "bipartisan" enough, and if the bill doesn't work Obama still gets the blame.  

    You don't negotiate with a party like today's GOP.  The only way to restore American values and prosperity is to fucking obliterate the GOP, to taint the word "republican" so badly that no politician dares to identify with it.  The democrats' work isn't done until the GOP is by conventional wisdom the party of traitors who put personal wealth and power above the economic and military security of the nation.  

    Anyways, if Obama keeps trying to negotiate with these fuckers in good faith, then he and the entire democratic party will be brutally raped politically and America as we know it will cease to exist when Palin/Joe The Plumber take control in 2012.

    I've tried to be patient by I must admit that the past couple days I've felt like I got conned by Obama's presidential campaign.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:39:03 PM PST

  •  And if he had not? (9+ / 0-)

    What if he had gone for "blood on the floor?" What if he had gotten medieval on them?

    Would he have been able to swing the few Republicans he needed? The Republicans would have been all "he won't work with us! He's letting his partisanship interfere with us when the country is in trouble!"

    The way I see it, President Obama cannot try to do something that won't make the Republicans complain... when that's all they do.

    It doesn't matter what the subject is, the Republicans are against it.

    This way, President Obama looks calm, reasonable, and willing to do what it takes. He did the right thing. Clearly.

    What the public will remember is how the Republicans are the obstructions.

    Not President Obama. I think that's important.

    WereBear
    Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
    The Way of Cats

    by WereBear on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:04:01 PM PST

  •  Carots and "stickes" for both dems and GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Field

    That's change I believe in.

    This year we can declare our independence...Barack Obama

    by PalGirl2008 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:12:06 PM PST

  •  Bipartisanship isn't weak per se (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, slinkerwink, keikekaze, Edgewater

    But a generation and a half of Democrats have used it as a cover story for their knee-jerk capitulations to the right, so one would be a fool not to be wary at this point.

  •  None of that matters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, mentaldebris, Edgewater

    The only discussion that we need to be having is:

    WILL IT WORK?

    On the front page, those who know the details better than I are saying that because of the compromises, it won't work. If "bipartisanship" results in a bill that will not work, then it doesn't matter how much "organizational" muscle Obama puts into getting it passed -- it will still be a loss for him and for us.

    If someone wants to present arguments as to why it will work, I'm all ears. But any other discussion just seems completely beside the point.

  •  I Agree with You! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, The Field, Muskegon Critic

    What we'll witness in the next four days is the first 2009 roll out of the organizational muscle. And if anybody thinks that the timing of this was not plotted weeks ago, they haven't learned much from the experience of 2008.

  •  Well said suh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brit, The Field

    I think it should also be noted that more Americans want to see an end to hardline partisan bickering than subscribe to any one political ideology. Ironically, Obama and the liberal movement has more to gain from branding Conservatives as congenitally partisan.

    I love Muskegon. Each season comes at exactly the right time.

    by Muskegon Critic on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:05:27 PM PST

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